Impuls 165: Damn mediocre happiness or a courageous life that brings a permanent smile?

I know what you want! And I also know what you don’t want. It’s not rocket science, but very simple: You don’t want swim in the ocean right now, or relax on the beach, go surfing, sailing or diving. Not in the Maledives, nor in Hawaii or Majorca. 

You also don’t want to hike in the Alps. And you don’t feel like doing a motorcycle tour through North America. You don’t want to relax in the Jacuzzi and you don’t want to take a nap. Absolutely! I know that you don’t want to do all that!


Because otherwise you would do it at this very moment!

But you don’t and rather read this text instead. Because you want to read it.

That thing with fortune and the architect

Everything you do, you do because you want to. And I’m well aware of the fact that this sentence may provoke you. But: If you object to this statement; if you don’t do what you want or you don’t want to do what you’re doing, then you’re like the mason during his breakfast break:

He opens his Tupperware box and exclaims: “Damn!”

His colleague asks: “What’s the matter?”

The mason glances at his colleague, disappointed: “Smoked sausage again!”

His co-worker wants to help: “Tell your wife to put something else on your sandwich!”

The mason shakes his head: “I can’t because I assemble my sandwich every morning myself …“

This is the crux of the issue: You are the architect of your own fortune! Day after day. That also goes for aspects of your life that you don’t like, which get on your nerves, disappoint you, cause you to give up. Simply put, your smoked sausage.

Sure, things will happen that are beyond your control, but then you can control your reaction. In the end, your whole life, your job, your home, your spouse, your family, your bank account, your car, your holiday, your health – everything – is the sum of the decisions you made in the past.

So, if you pursue your usual endeavours that you devoted yourself to – be it at your job, in the family, in your leisure time – and you’re generally asking yourself why the heck life is no longer as colourful and joyful as it used to be, then you simply forgot something: to select your own spread when you make your sandwich. Your favorite spread!

ExcusesJohnny, please shut up!

And please don’t tell me “I CAN’T DO what I really want to do BECAUSE …“ – Thanks to my own behaviour, I know that too well. That’s how we become ‘ExcusesJohnny’. To think up reasons why we CAN’T DO something takes a lot out of us.

We’re all good at that, aren’t we? (The boss, parents, children, the mortgage, tax office, government, customers, neighbours or the weather …)

But regardless how logical and comprehensible your reasons are: If you don’t do the things you actually want to do, you gather decisions each day that eventually result in a life you really don’t want to live. And that’s when you feel this damn mediocre happiness: “I’m fine, really. I have no reason to complain. There are people who are worse off than me …”

I came up with better ways in which you can spend all this energy. Instead of not doing what you actually could do on a daily basis, try to do something you don’t know how to do!

If you’re thinking: Well, if we don’t know how to do it, then it is impossible – then you’re wrong.

Because at some point there was a first time for everything we did. And if you’re thinking: If I do that, I’ll fail – then I’ll tell you: See, and that’s what this is about!


And that’s exactly what I did this past summer: I went ahead and did something I’ve never done before. And I had no clue how. Something with a high risk. Something big, difficult, challenging.

Something I was terrified of: In four weeks, I hitchhiked from Germany’s lowest elevation to the highest. From Hamburg to the Zugspitze (mountain). Without money.

My greatest fear was that I was completely dependent on other people during those four weeks. Dependent on people who gave me a place to sleep, something to eat, who gave me a ride from A to B, and so on. I put myself in the hands of the German people, so to speak. I had to ask for their help. Every day. Several times a day. That was a horrific thought before I took this trip.

Dependency! Oh God! Something that was out of my hands! God-awful! Not only did this journey push me out of my comfort zone, it catapulted me far into my overchallenging zone. I lost count of how often I hit the wall in those four weeks, how often I got “No” for an answer, how often things didn’t go my way.

But I also experienced how helpful, kind and generous the Germans are. I met lots of great folks like never before in my life. I spent wonderful hours having fantastic conversations in beautiful locations.

And not only did I get to know other people a lot better, but myself as well. In summary: I was scared shitless before I left, but in the end, the rewards surpassed the fear by far.

Do things you don’t know how to do!

Why am I telling you this? Because I want to encourage you to emulate me: Achieve your heart’s desire! Do something totally crazy. Something where you used to say: “I can’t do this because …“ My suggestion: Do it anyway! Even though you don’t know how – or precisely for that reason!

Worst case scenario, something unpleasant will happen to you. Yeah. But believe me, the worst that can happen to you is: you don’t set out to fulfill that wish.

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