Be Happy, Join a Cult

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. LEGO writer's donut

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.

11 thoughts on “Be Happy, Join a Cult

    1. I always thought happiness was something you just were. Or in my case, just weren’t. It took me a long time to realise – much less accept – that it’s something you have to work at. But perfectly achievable.


  1. This really cracked me up. Not just because I’d forget my phone, or go to the wrong location, but the meetings in Sweden. They take up half the day, half the work week, and half the month if they could get away with it.
    I’m joining a cult., just as soon as I get a job to pay for the beautiful web pages everyone has here. Awesome post and observation.
    Somewhere I think I read that the goldfish’s attention span can be as long as 15 seconds, but people put them into little bitty fish bowls, so by the time they have to turn around, they’ve already forgotten that that is where they just were. Amazing analogy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂
      He did say just what you did about the goldfish – in the little bowl there’s not much to remember so its attention span is shortened.
      You can start off with WordPress for free. I’ve found that it’s not so much about how beautiful your site is (although of course that helps) but about the content you put on it.

      Liked by 1 person

    gets everybody to my writing’s, and I had a wonderful interview yesterday. If I get the job, then I’ll have to learn how to create something attractive and attention getting.
    But I’m a simple guy, so it will probably be called Pages from Phil.
    And you are so pretty too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Holy mackerel, thank you. Does this mean I can come over for dinner?
        I read about a half dozen peoples blogs each day, some of them not really writers, and some are awesome. Even better artists and photographers than I see already published and in stores. But I try to feel what they’re saying, and see where they’re going, offering either praise or criticism when applicable.
        My dear friend Author Aguinaldo has been posting for years now, ‘When Apricots Had Wings’, and it was he and Jenny (my best friends of 46 years) who suggested I start these.
        I’ve never been told I was a good writer, and I don’t expect to ever hear it. We are not Steinbeck’s and Hemmingway’s and Poe’s; nor even Twain’s or Shelly’s. But we all share, and I’m pretty much loving that.
        So is your husband Irish? That would make my foster dad happy. He’s was an O’Leary, his parents being brought here still as children after the first WW. It seems like the 20’s brought a lot of people to America. Where do you guys live? I may not be able to make that dinner date if you’re too far.


  3. Yes I think that a purpose really helps us feeling more “at peace” or “happy” with ourselves, and it’s in ourselves that all happiness should originate. When we’re happy with ourselves and come at peace with our own situation then we can truly take in and appreciate happiness from other external sources as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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