I’ve been at a conference in Sweden all day. Half-way across the sea I realised that I had forgotten my phone. I had somehow also convinced myself that it was taking place at a hotel I’d been to before with the company hosting the conference, so I walked in there at 8.40 ready to rock and roll. Uhm … no one else was there. My bewildered wanderings quickly drew attention to me, so a kindly receptionist took pity on me and asked if I were lost. Turned out I had to get back on the train, go two more stops, and meander around for a while. Great start to the day. Fortunately things got much better from there. My first experience presenting at a conference was amazing and it sounded like people got something out of what I had to say.
The keynote speaker was Michael Dahlén, Professor of Economics at Stockholm University. Imagine what you think he would look like. Then turn it on its head. Black nail varnish? Check. More than anything else, he talked about happiness. We don’t have enough of it. Our current attention span is less – less! – than that of a goldfish in a glass bowl.
People who do have happiness are those who feel like they have a purpose, they can see the bigger picture … like people in a cult. So be happy, join a cult. Just not the kind who live in the woods and want to overthrow the government. I think they’re too angry to be happy.
But it got me thinking. Am I happy?
Much happier than I was this time last year. Because I do feel like I have a purpose and I can see the bigger picture. I’m a writer. I feel like one, I know I’m one. That’s my purpose. I remember what it was not to be happy. I remember how it felt to have that frustration screaming out inside me, to the very point where I started to question whether I even wanted to write. And that was after I’d published my novel. But I got my passion back after so many years, I found my way back to what I really want to do. What I’d love to do right now, is help other writers out there do the same.
I’ll even wear the black nail varnish.