I have been fascinated by the idea of HAPPINESS and what it means to different people for a while now. I’ve been reading books and watching shows about society, our generation, their lifestyles, goals and motivations.
One element of life as a millennial that intrigues me is social media. Tiny kids are projecting themselves from their own YouTube channel and have totally mastered Instagram. As with everything, I think it has positive and negative factors. The positive I see as encouraging creativity, communication and solidifying marketing skills which could no doubt come in handy in the future. However, the negatives I see as focusing on a life that looks good on the outside but doesn’t necessarily feel good on the inside and whether that actually matters or not. What is important? So many people are hung up on the number of followers they have and let that define not only their mood but their identity.
Do you post photos and updates that make you YOU or do you post with the intention of getting the most likes/shares?
I don’t see it as all bad. A big following does open doors of opportunity and can lead on to great things but I think it’s imperative to have a healthy balance of photos/updates that can be seen as art and inspiration, alongside those that represent real life. Make and promote your art for you and not solely for everyone else.
“Social media is just the market’s answer to a generation that demanded to perform”
Are we all performers? We constantly project our work to each other all the time. Has the social media world made it harder to ‘get noticed’ or has it made all art more mediocre? And how will this all affect future culture? And how does this influence your happiness and emotional wellbeing?
I’m currently reading Affluenza by Oliver James and it’s truly fascinating. It discusses the ‘virus’ of comparison (comparing your art to others) and the yearning for material gain (followers). For example: working a job you hate to buy stuff you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.
Career or life goals that can improve your emotional wellbeing are intrinsic. So if your goal is to get a degree in a subject you love, it will be classed as intrinsic because you will benefit from the outcome; you’re pursuing the end result for your own enjoyment and satisfaction, as well as to improve your knowledge of the subject.
In contrast, if your goal is to have more money than your friends then it will be extrinsic. Extrinsic goals consist of comparison and material items.
In the workplace similar situations can be observed. Some employees will be more driven by extrinsic rewards (bonuses, company cars etc) and some will be encouraged by intrinsic ones (recognition, praise, more responsibility, challenging/enjoyable work).
To bring this back to social media; look at WHY you use it and what you post. If you’re posting photos you’re proud of and that show off your creative skills mixed with a healthy dose of reality, then you’re intrinsically driven and will most likely be happier than those posting stuff they don’t care about because they know it will be a hit and gain more followers.
How can both these scenarios benefit or hinder your business/blog?
So, how do you bring more HAPPY into your life?
Make your career/blog align with your values.
Work out what intrinsically motivates you. Take time to work out which career matches these needs; alongside your strengths, weaknesses and beliefs.
You can be intrinsically rewarded by aiming for a high paid job in the financial sector if the work fascinates you and you enjoy the job involvement. Does that job define part of your identity? Or are you driven by a big pay packet which means you can buy a ‘better’ car than your friend?
“My drug’s attention, I am an addict but I get paid to indulge in my habit”
My life is full of goals, checklists, to do lists… It’s just how I work. For anyone interested in the psychology of it, I score as an ENTJ/ENTP on The Myers Briggs Type Indicator.
I have personal, business and blog goals for the next 1, 3 and 5 years which are outlined in my Bullet Journal, however I thought I’d share ones which are currently taking my focus and which are also ongoing. They’re measurable yet there is always going to be room for improvement, meaning they ain’t going nowhere for quite a long time!
More importantly, these goals and my motivations behind them are intrinsic, meaning that the need to achieve them is driven by my own enjoyment, satisfaction and fulfilment.
1 Learn German
I just want to be fluent in another language! I was quite bad at languages in school and now I want to learn, I’m doing much better. It’s still difficult, don’t get me wrong but I’m determined to get there. I chose German originally as I was going to Berlin and it’s the most spoken language in Europe (other than English).
I love culture, eating new food, meeting new people, hearing new languages, seeing different architecture… I heart everything about traveling. Apart from flying, haha! Much of my early twenties was spent working, studying and scraping together the rent so I feel I missed out on a big chunk of exploring. Since last year I’ve been making up for it and hope to continue to do so.
3 Expand my business
Hopefully I will benefit from this financially but the main motivation for doing this is to test my own limits/abilities and see how much I can learn and achieve.
4 Increase my blog following
I know, I know, I realise his sounds hypocritical…This is my least intrinsic goal BUT my motivation is to increase the amount of opportunities that come my way. I’m not defined by numbers but doing social media right can lead to work and fantastic experiences. I have been working to achieve the balance between making sure my content is true to me and shows my abilities while successfully reaching a suitable audience.
5 Do my MBA work
One of my lifetime goals is to get my MBA. I don’t need it for work but it will be extremely useful at the same time. This could very easily become an extrinsic goal but at the moment I’m enjoying learning and challenging myself while valuing the knowledge that it brings to myself and my business. It’s an expensive one though so while I do aim to complete the whole course, I’m not tying myself to a time frame.
6 Move abroad
This has always been on my Bucket List but I have recently started working towards this. There’s no limit to the amount of countries I’d want to live in or how long I’d stay (it would all depend on how I feel at the time and will probably be a last minute decision) which is why it’s here on my ‘ongoing’ list.
7 Improve my health
I think this is probably quite a common goal. I don’t think I do too badly but I could still do with eating less junk food and exercising more. I try and do a little work out and a bit of yoga most days but it’s nothing too intense; I’d like to start running! Another aim is to start growing my own food as I think this is the healthiest grub you’re gonna get!
As for mental health, I need to meditate as much as I can and try to ‘think’ less. Phew.
8 Save dollar
I do need money to fund moving abroad and to be able to live but I my aim is to save rather than spend for the sake of it. I want to spend more on experiences and traveling than on pointless ‘stuff’.
If you found this interesting, you should check out Bo Burnham’s Make Happy
(This is the trailor, find the whole show on Netflix).
How many people are defined by their number of followers? Or act with the intention of gaining more followers? Where does it end? How many followers is enough?
Fame, money and popularity doesn’t equal happiness.
Are you happy?