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“The Art of Life” for Dummies

December 5, 2010

Here we go – another post about our ever-elusive friend, Mrs. Happiness…oh, she’s a nasty bitch. 😉

First and foremost: If you don’t know what makes you happy – FIND YOURSELF.

  • Get yourself new inputs: Travel. Try out different occupations. Mix up your social environment.
  • Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Actually – make as many mistakes as you can! This is what we’re young for: To experience, to discover, to find out.
  • Don’t pressure yourself. You’re OK the way you are, and you owe it to yourself to honor your existence by taking the time you need to make it a beautiful and worthwhile one. This is basically what it’s all about, really! Everything else is societally constructed expectations. So BE FREE, goddammit!

Once you know what makes you happy, it’s time to put the pieces together and create your life, as following…

A fantastic and concise piece of advice I read from a therapist writing in a magazine article about happiness:

  1. Do what makes you happy.
  2. Make money.
  3. Try to make other people happy.

Do them in the wrong order, and you’ve got a disaster! Try this:

1. Make money.
Many people think, “If I make enough money, then I can do what I want and I can take better care of my family”.
→ Result: During those years of unfulfilled money-making, by not doing what makes you happy, you become miserable and bitter and bad company.


3. Make money.
Put money in slot #3 and you are at the mercy of other people – because you then have to get someone else to give you what makes you happy.


1. Try to make other people happy.
Start with, “If I please my boss, he’ll pay me more. If I please my husband, then he’ll do what I want him to do.”
Result: You become a resentful manipulator.

Of course, if you happen to be in the position where doing what makes you happy is also highly lucrative, consider yourself lucky! (But DO NOT let this possibility obscure your vision and influence your decision, please – not being honest to yourself might very well ruin your life! This part is CRUCIAL!)

“Do what makes you happy” sounds more frivolous than it is. I’d say what it really means is be true to yourself, get the means ($$$) so that you don’t have to betray yourself to survive, and if somebody doesn’t like it – that’s their problem”.

INTEGRITY is the key standard.

I think it gets deeper the more you think about it!

I also have an amazing contribution from the brilliant Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, who developed the wildly popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

In 1960, Jung was interviewed by journalist Gordon Young, who asked,

“What do you consider to be more or less basic factors making for happiness in the human mind?”

Jung answered:

1. Good physical and mental health.
2. Good personal and intimate relationships, such as those of marriage, the family, and friendships.
3. The faculty for perceiving beauty in art and nature.
4. Reasonable standards of living and satisfactory work.
5. A philosophic or religious point of view capable of coping successfully with the vicissitudes of life.

I personally think these are some very valuable insights to start with. Sit down, analyze every aspect of your life, cut yourself some slack, and consciously start applying those guidelines on a daily basis. Try to create constructive habits!

I am absolutely CONVINCED we will conquer “Project Happiness”. Come on, let’s go…look, there it is! 🙂

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