My very own Hygge

In the video on my Youtube channel, I shared why Danish people are the happiest ones and how we can all be like them. The key is not only to enjoy life but plan ahead. How awesome would our lives be if all day every single minute we would know that something relaxing and enjoyable is waiting for us later on…

If you want to know more about what Hygge is, here is the video.

Here I decided to share some of my daily routines full of Hygge. They are easy and simple, yet fill me up with joy every day.

Every morning I read in bed. I read self-improvement books, literature that can help me improve, grow and learn more about myself and the world around me. While I read I cover myself with a blanket and I drink plenty of water. I don’t just read, I really experience the moment.

After reading I write my gratefulness journal. Basically, I write what am I grateful for and what would make today amazing. This allows me to focus on my objectives first thing in the morning. I share this amazing experience with my boyfriend, this way we help each other to make the day great.

Something I don’t do daily even if I would like to is massage my face. I learnt how to do the Japanese facial massage and I used to do it every day until I got bored. Now I am just doing it every second or third day, on the days I really want to do it rather than forcing myself. Not only it makes me relax, enjoy the nice smell and feel my body working for my, I can also see how my face is getting younger J

Every day after lunch we go for a walk. Sometimes in nature, sometimes to the shop on the other side of the city to combine useful and healthy. Some days the walk is really long while others it is only 20-30 minutes. But knowing there is a walk waiting for me in the afternoon makes me so much more energised and relaxed all morning.

Every evening before going to bed I read and write again. It is just so relaxing to curl up in the bed and grab a book, knowing the day is over and you have finished everything. You are done and there is nothing more to do than enjoying those last moments of the day.

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Not every day, but at least a couple times a week I enjoy some kind of a warm beverage. This is either hot chocolate or tea. It makes me enjoy that moment so much more because I get to work while enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling inside of my body.

These are just the things I enjoy. If you are more of a beer person, make sure you have a cold beer waiting for you when you get home from work. If you enjoy running, make sure your clothes are clean and ready for you to hit the road. If you are a very social person, plan ahead and invite your friends over on a Friday night.

Remember, it is not just being in the moment and enjoying the little things, it is about planning ahead and knowing those moments are there waiting for you. This way you are excited all day!

Meditation and Science fight

The amazing, fascinating and mindblowing book of the week is Brain and meditation written by a Buddhist monk and scientist Matthieu Ricard and neurophysicist Wolf Singer. In their long discussion, they come to the conclusion that we don’t have a located “self” in our brain. What we do have is just a continuum made of cognitive reactions (a.k.a. a lot of stuff going on in our brain and we have no idea what it all means).

Therefore, with no self, there is nothing in your brain that is actually YOU. You are just a lot of things going on at the same time. You are made of your memory (that lets you think you are your experiences), your nerves (that let you think that you are your body) and your prefrontal cortex (that lets you know you are your thoughts)…

It took me some time to fully comprehend the fact that we have no self, no ego, nothing that is really me. Weird feeling… So take it easy.

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But what does it concretely mean that you have no self? And how can we apply that fact in our day to day life?

To understand and apply that we have to understand another thing first: synaptic plasticity. What the hell is that? It is the ability of your brain to literally change its form regarding on what you use it for. Which means that if you use a lot of your willpower, your brain will shape connections that will make it easier for you to use your willpower in the future; on the other hand, if you are procrastinating, the willpower is going to grow weak.

What it concretely means: we are not something definitive, our brain/personality is evolving each time we take a decision, each time we make an action. A junky living on the street who will move to be a monk in Tibet, will literally not be the same person anymore. And that is the book’s best idea: we have no self, we are just the result of very complex brain mechanisms.

And, wait for it, it also means we have no ego! Everybody is saying that ego is the enemy, that it is because of too much ego that the planet is going bad, etc… But according to researchers in neurosciences and to Buddhism, ego does not even exist. We just made it up! Why? Because it is an easy explanation for all the things we cannot understand about ourselves.

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Basically, our personality is not a constant thing, it is the result of numerous complex processes that happen in our brains, and each time you take a decision your brain changes its shape. So you think you are someone, you think you are your ego… but you don’t even have an ego!

And this understanding can change your life and even the whole world!

Think about it. If you have no ego, no fixed personality, then guilt, fear and other “bad” feelings instantly become useless. Because it makes no sense to say “I am a bad person”, “I am born under an unlucky star” or “It is too late now, I cannot change after all this time. I am who I am”.

If there is no ego, there is no reason to be offended. You are the one deciding to be upset because you think this is the thing to do. Because you think people are attacking you. But there is nothing to be offended about since you have no self. They cannot offend you. Eventually, you can feel anger, but even then you can decide to let it go and not let it control your mind.

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On a bigger scale, it means that a lot of wars can be avoided. Think about it, if there is no fear and no jealousy, it means there is no racism and no ressources conflicts. If there is no ego, we instantly tend to share what we have and we feel more compassionate for other people.

The best part about it is that it means you can be whoever you want to be. If you want to learn something, you can. No matter what it is, you simply have to do things that bring you closer to your goal and stop doing those that take you away from it. This way you will enforce your brain. And remember, by enforcing your brain you are shaping yourself. And if there is something you no longer want to experience, stop doing it. Eventually, this part of the brain will get weak and you will use it less and less.

So do not ever say again “I’m not good at something”. You can learn anything you want to.

We are not our emotions

Reading the book Search inside yourself blew my mind on many different levels. Emotions and how do we perceive them by default, compared to what they really are and mean, is just the first step to it.

Emotions are a basic physiological state. They appear in our body, we can feel the anger as our hands are shaking and we can feel fear when our knees get weak. We also feel joy when we laugh so much our stomach hurts. This is the proof that emotions are not psychological, they are physiological!

If emotions are just what I experience in my body, then feeling sad or angry is just like a headache. I feel pain but I can choose to control it or even ignore it. I can decide to still go out and go get some ice cream while I am in pain, as I know the pain will pass in a couple of hours or days.

It is the same when it comes to emotions. We can be sad but we don’t have to focus and act on it. We can do other things and simply wait for that emotion to pass. The more attention we give to that emotion, the more it will grow.

We are not our emotions. But let’s look at how we identify ourselves with our emotions.

We say I am happy, angry and upset. However, this is just the physiological state we are in. We are not sad or angry, we feel sad or angry because our body is experiencing physiological change at the moment.

If we are aware of that emotions eventually become what we experience in our body, so we go from I feel angry to I feel anger in my body.

I think this is a beautiful metaphor to know about yourself and to be aware of it every time when we experience negative or disturbing thoughts. It is all going to pass and we will be much better of if we consider them as the temporary state of mind, a dark cloud, which is going to disappear and maybe even bring us a rainbow.

Get your mind blown away as well with the book Search inside yourself by Chade-Meng Tan here.

 

How is the school killing the creativity?

School raises us to be factory workers. A hundred years ago the main challenge of politics was to find enough factory workers. School was the place to shape up and raise those much needed workers. They had to teach us enough but not to much, and they also had to teach us how to obey.

It is not an accident if school is like a job, not an accident that there are supervisors and tests and quality control. You do well on them—you get a new job (the next grade), continue being successful and you get a real job. Do poorly and you are kicked out of the system.

This way of producing “factory workers” was efficient when we had to fill factories, but our factories are now in other countries and the school had not changes their way of teaching (yet).

Let’s make something clear: factory workers is just a metaphor. If you work in a big office where you only follow orders and you don’t show any enthusiasm, you never take initiative and you don’t give things you are good at, you are also a factory worker!

The world today is different and listening to orders is not going to get you far. What school needs now is to create and what you need to be now is an artist. You need to learn how to take initiative instead of obeying to orders. You need to learn how to give the best you can instead of doing the minimum without asking questions.

School asks you to:

  • Take good notes
  • Show up everyday
  • Do like everybody else
  • Follow the rules
  • Be a generalist, not a specialist

The problem lies with the system that punishes artists and rewards bureaucrats instead.

We all know it, finishing school doesn’t guaranty anything. Finding a job is challenging and your education is not first on the priority list. What employers are really looking for are artists.

You can be an artist at your job. Artist are not just painters, artists are all the people that are dedicated to their job and bring in it their own personal skills. Artists are the opposite of factory workers. Factory workers are all the people that are acting like school ask them to act: following rules without asking any questions.

But the good news is that the factory worker system is, slowly but surely, dying and is letting room for the new artistic world. It is up to you to choose who you want to be. A factory worker in a dying world, or an artist in a rising one?

Purchase the book The Linchpin by Seth Godin to get more insight into the topic here.

When balanced relationship is failed relationship

The scientists were trying to determine the conditions of happiness and the discoveries are super interesting. They were measuring the quantities of the happy and sad moments in order to determine that. You would think it if there is 50 50 of good and bad we are neutral, not happy not sad. It turns out that when during the day we have 50 50 good and bad moments we feel extremely miserable. Even when the ration between good and bad is 1:2 we are still miserable. It is only when the ratio is 1:3 that we feel happy. So for a random person to feel happy on a subconscious and conscious level, he needs to have 3 good things happening to him to outcast the bad one. How crazy is that?

 

Well, that is not all. In a marriage the stakes are even higher. It is 1:5 meaning that we need 5 times more good things happening to us to compensate for one bad one. If our partner does 4 nice things but says one wrong sentence we are going to feel bad and our day will feel like shit. Talking about high expectations! Maybe this is the reason why there are more and more divorces, because we simply expect our partner to be more than perfect. Do we also expect so much from ourselves is another question…

Get the book by John Gottman: 7 principles for making marriage work here.

Check out our YouTube channel for more simple quick fix ideas here.

How to enter the vortex and feel joy?

The biggest wish all humanity shares is the urge to be happy. We are very different and we look in different places—we go from job to job, relationship to relationship, travel, eat, try out drugs and sports. The thing we have in common is that we all hope the next thing we try out is going to make us feel good and happy.

We reach that state from time to time, but most of the days are just boring old routine and most relationships just drain our energy. Why do some people seem to always be in a good mood, while others just go from bad to worse day after day?

Law of attraction revolutionised the world and some strongly believe in it, others don’t. However, it is not really a law, is it? It is easy and simple; there is no big science about it. As long as you focus on the problem and the more you think about it, the more negative emotions you will experience and the more bad things are going to enter your life. We all have those bad days, when we lose our key, forget an umbrella, our boss yells at us and our partner is not in the mood to make love. The ice cream falls straight on our white shirt and we get a parking ticket. It is like a curse, the more we expect the bad things to happen, the more they happen.
How about if we focus on the solution instead of the problem for once? Let’s say the scenario is the same: we lose our key which gives us a good opportunity to go to our husband at work and borrow his—and we steal a kiss. We get a ticket, we look up and there is a really cute guy who also got a ticket—he invites us for a cup of coffee. The ice cream on the shirt gives us a perfect excuse to buy a new shirt we were admiring in the shop on the way to work.

It is so important to understand that it is not the situation that determines how we feel, it is our decision on what we will focus. Once we can do that (and I am not saying it is always easy), we are free! Nothing outside ourselves can influence our life and destroy our happy feelings. This is how we finally feel the freedom which is a true key to happiness.

Most of things that happen during our day are very neutral but we perceive them as negative. So make a deliberate decision to take them the way they are and not overreach about their meaning. When something really bad happens, our emotions usually take over and we are completely unable to fight them. For some hours, maybe days. After the shock is over, we can choose what will we focus on. The bad thing that happened or look on the bright side, find something good in the situation and learn from it?

It is your life and it is your decision. Just remember, it is YOUR focus that determines the quality of YOUR life. You are responsible and whatever you are living right now, it is you call.

The book Vortex by Abraham Hicks is an amazing book which can open your eyes on so many things. The video is covering just main ideas, but each of us can find so much more reading the book for himself.
Purchase the book and contribute to the channel without any extra cost here.