I believe the absolute purpose in life is happiness. No matter what different things we value in life, we all try to be as happy as we can for as long as possible.
The things we do to make us happy vary per person. Some may find that rich relationships lead to happiness. Others might argue that money provides happiness. Whatever you believe makes you happy, we all share the same goal.
And that is what this website is about.
I want to show you how to find the things that make you happy. I have been tracking my happiness for a long time now, and I have learned exactly what makes me happy and what doesn't.
Why I started
When I was 20 years old, I entered a period in my life I knew was going to be very interesting.
Life changing, you could even say.
It was the final step from adolescence to adulthood, and I wanted to make sure I would never lose these memories. So I started to keep a journal.
My journal was a very basic notebook. I started to fill it up with my personal thoughts as soon as I got it: what happened during the day, what was on my mind, what I liked and what I hated.
You know, kids stuff.
I wanted to write down exactly what I thought, without a filter. If I knew somebody else was eventually going to read it, I would have never allowed myself to write my deepest thoughts and personal opinions.
Therefore, I never told a single soul I was doing it.
When I survived this period of my life, it turned out that I found joy and order in keeping a journal. Something about it was very peaceful. It felt very nice to write down my thoughts, knowing that I would never lose them.
So I continued to journal. Even though the period I initially bought the journal for was over, I was still happy to continue doing it.
It made life easier: I was able to fill my journal even more incognito and was felt reassured that these journals would never be lost in a fire.
Anyway, as it turned out, my life as a young adult was more – much more – interesting than I thought it would be. Or at least, to me it was!
I started working as an engineer for a big company, and I felt like my life only got more turbulent as time passed.
Why I continued
Working for a big marine contractor has great benefits: the projects are great, you get to see the world a bit, it certainly never is boring and the rewards are not bad.
But to me, some of these benefits turned into something terrible when I was exposed to a bad combination of them all.
That period of my life is what made me really focused on pursuing personal happiness. Life is not about money, career growth, achievements or anything like that at all.
The main focus of life should always be happiness.
I was sent to a country in the Persian Gulf to be a part of a project. It was a pretty exciting time for me. I had never been to the Middle East, and working on such a massive project was entirely new to me. I was extremely motivated to be a respected, well-oiled cog in the machine. I wanted to be challenged!
Things started alright, but it didn’t take long before I felt the most miserable I ever felt.
What influenced the state of misery I was in:
- I worked at least 6 days a week for 12 hours a day.
- I lost all social aspects of life. I was in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend, and pretty soon things started going south within that department.
- I lost all my hobbies. I was unable to do any of the things that made me a happy person. No music, no running (*), no friends to hang out with and no video games to take my mind off the daily rat race.
* I went running once… I’ll never forget being chased by wild dogs twice while screaming like a little boy
Look, I do want to point out that I can handle challenges quite well. I always continued to do my job, and my reviews were always good. This page is certainly not meant to be some kind of wallow-in-self-pity blog post. I do want to stress, however, just exactly how unhappy I was during this period.
One of the worst days I ever tracked was during this time. It was this day that made me completely focussed on tracking my happiness.
I was absolutely miserable. I momentarily lost connection to the parts of me which I liked. My humor was gone, I lost my motivation, I ran away from challenges and was socially invisible.
The thing with challenging and defining moments in your life is: the moment they are in the past, you WILL start to romanticise them. “It wasn’t so bad”, “The work was still very cool and exciting”, or “Being in such a different country is still pretty bad-ass”.
You know how it goes...
You forget the nasty parts of an experience pretty quickly. Knowing that I was certainly going to romanticise this period, I decided to focus my journal on exactly what made me so unhappy.
This is when I further defined my method of tracking happiness.
And to this day, I am still rating and labeling my days on a daily basis. You can probably see how this has given me a ton of data to help me determine exactly what brings me happiness.
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