Be somewhere different, Do something else, Feel something new, Get to know someone old!

Secret to happiness? Nah… just something that popped up in my head!

Flying back from US

Heading back to Sweden today after a great time in the US, I guess one day I'd might get more time to write a bit about it, however, some highlights:

  • Watching whales
  • Summer vacation full US-style in the Cape & the Vineyard
  • Walks through European-style Boston
  • Coffee in High Line park in New York
  • Random night with a Tibetan monk and two new french friends in Chinatown
  • Brunch walk in Brooklyn 
It was very well needed and a great escape, I feel re-energized and re-invigorated! 

Now on to the next steps, it never stops 😉

Travelling differently

Coelho has 9 great tips about how to travel differently on his blog, and I agree with everyone of them.

Finally, I’d add no 10 – Savour. Make sure you stop and watch an interesting building, smell the trees, take a picture that makes you think about something or write a note in your journal. Take time to walk slowly and don’t worry if you don’t see everything on your list – you can always have a reason to return!

New York full of energy & life – feeling quite reinvigorated!


New York full of energy & life – feeling quite reinvigorated!

What could use some long exposure in your surroundings?

These photographs ( makes me think about time and continuity – what in your surroundings are fixed, giving away light from it's set position over long-periods of time? 

The fixtures of our lives are not only scaffolding but also a constant source of light (& darkness?), it might be useful to put up a camera to them with long-exposure time so we can make them out from all the traffic, mess and movement that surrounds them. 

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Ask yourself: why am I doing what I am doing?

"In a world where we all have too many paths to choose from, we sometimes choose the path that has the most urgency (extrinsic motivation) rather than the path that is the most meaningful (intrinsic motivation)."

It is quite easy to get caught by urgency – what we're expected to do, what others want us to do, what is calling our attention. 

It's quite a bit harder to really decide what it is that is our goals to do, what we truly value and what brings.  

Sometimes we need to challenge our spontaneous and intuitive choices and see where they really come from and maybe ask ourselves the simple question – why am I doing this?

The not so carbon neutral lifestyle

In less than 36 hours I have been in 4 countries (Netherlands,
Belgium, Sweden, US), spent more than six hours on airport busses,
traveled two hours by train and slept less than five.

Clearly I need to offset both some sleep and some carbon!

Experience vs. Memory – Journaling to be happy

The last few days were spent intensely travelig, meeting people (both
old and new friends), talking, partying and in the small breaks
between reflecting.

In many ways these days marked the end of things – the end of my
intense engagement with AIESEC, the end of a relationship, the end of
my past year’s job and so on.

It caused me to think about the way we experience and remember thing.
There is a very interesting TED talk on the theme and it provides some
guidance in how to make the most out of both what we experience and
what we remember. The most interesting part is that the way we
experience things and the way we remember them are two very different
things – essentially our memory is a story teller that will create a
narrative primarily based on such things as major peaks or events, big
changes to the experience and most importantly how the experience ends.

By making the right choices about our experience it seems to me that
we can have influence both of the amount of well-being we get through
the experience but also the amount of well-being we feel when
remembering the experience. The remembering part of the experience is
also crucial (says Kahneman) because this is the part that we use to
make future decisions!

For example, an essentially good relationship in experiences, that has
a bad ending might in the end entail a bad memory, meaning that you
would be much more careful about choosing another relationship because
of your minds expectation that the experience next time will be
similar to it’s story or memory of the previous experience (even
though it was just the ending that was bad!)

In order to deal with this, I read about another research that showed
that journaling about our experiences had a profound effect on the
amount of negative effect or well-being we could induce. Most likely
this effect comes from the way that journaling allows us to create a
more coherent narrative for our memory to process.

So, during the weekend I resolved to journal both my negative and
positive feelings about the experiences that I had been through during
the year, about how I felt about them ending and about both the peaks
and the low points – however my main focus, as always will be to bring
out what worked and not spend my time endlessly ruminating about what

Finally – since gratitude is important for both your well-being and
others – I would like to express a deep gratitude to everyone I met
and especially to Orsika, Arie, Phil, Arjanne, Gloria, Alexandra and
Irina for making the weekend very special!

More on experience and memory in Kahneman’s TED talk: