The Happiness and the Joy of the Smaller Things in Life
Not long ago I made a post about Flow and the Optimal Experience of Life which addresses subjects like the modern pursuit of happiness, the culture of personality and how to live a more happy and fulfilling life. Well, one of my interests is neuroscience and I'm always looking to discover and to learn more about how the mind works and one thing that I learned so far is that Homo Sapiens, the Wise Man in Latin, is actually an emotional creature prone to various shortcomings and biases. So, no matter how many words I write and how convincing I'm trying to make my posts, appealing to rationality will always be less persuasive than appealing to emotions, hence in this post I will give concrete examples that can be seen and heard, examples on how to find flow and to achieve an optimal experience of life.
It started with a Youtube video recommendation, having the words Oslo and Norway in the title and a thumbnail with a guy holding a bottle in his hand. Well, I'm not really into guys with bottles in their hands and it did seem a weird recommendation but I do am interested in Norway and in the Nordic culture in general so I said "What the hell, it's a short video anyway, let's see what's about" and clicked on the video. It was a strange video with a guy doing strange but simple, creative things, I've never seen these kinds of videos before. So I went to this guy's channel and watched a second video and a third video. And I continued watching. I was trying to figure out what this guy is up to. And then I realized it:
The Happiness and the Joy is in the Smaller Things in Life. What this guy, Tor Eckhoff, is doing on his Youtube channel, apetor, is basically having a naive, childlike approach to life. He is more than 50 years old but he is having a fresh, inquisitive, creative approach to the world around him. He is living in a small city, somewhere on the long, rugged and fjord like coast of Norway but this is not stopping him to find fun ways to discover the environment that surrounds him and to live a full and interesting life. Somewhere on the path of growing up we lose our child-like view of the world, something small like a puddle of water or mud, ice and snow, a frog, a butterfly, a flower, a stick, would excite us and trigger our imagination and make us come up with fun ways of using them because that's how children discover the world that surrounds them. Everything is new and exciting for a child, everything is interesting and worthy of exploration. Somewhere on the line we lose this simple joy derived from simple and small things, we lose the Joie de vivre, the Joy of Life, we start acting like adults in a world where there are less and less discoveries to be made. We start learning how the world works and we start forming mental models that most probably stick with us our whole lives and in this process things start to look "Deja vu", already seen, they start to excite us less and less and to lose their flavor.
"The World used to be a bigger place".
Well, anyway, less words and more action. This is Tor's Youtube chanel, it's called apetor. And here are some examples of his videos.
First snow and an ice cold bath
Trip to Mountain
Trip to Oslo