It’s on the inside

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Since I can remember, I liked to get inspired by outside sources. When I was younger, I used to read a lot. Seriously. It was so bad that when going to bed my parents took my book away and put it on a shelf on the other side of the room (which I then got back to read more under the cover).

When I got to high school I let that habit slip. I switched to learning what they asked me to focus on in school and started watching TV more often. …

Check your privileges

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A few days ago I finished another lap around the sun. Right in time for the implementation of new measures to restrict contact and slow down the second wave here in Germany.

What ought to be a nice get-together with friends, became a social distancing beer at the local kiosk.

I am extroverted. Not a little bit, but a lot. When I don’t have something to do, I meet my friends or look for an opportunity to get to know someone new.

I get energy by being with people. …

To live better, ask better questions

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What is life about?

There is no correct answer to the question, therefore most people don’t even dare to ask it. Most people are busy making a living, rather than designing a life. Few people dare to find out what living means to them.

“He who asks questions cannot avoid answers.” — Cameroon Proverb

After asking myself this question, I found a few answers that ring true to me. First of all the goal of the “real-life” should be the experience of the biggest range of emotions possible. After all, emotions are what make us human.
Then, living is exploring —…

Question the lens through which you see the world

Foto by Gil Ribeiro — Instagram: gileres

Our environment shapes our fundamental beliefs. These beliefs are branded deeply into our culture. Our families, friends, and self-confirming newsfeeds and other echo chambers reinforce the prevailing thinking until we believe it to be true.

Beliefs become paradigms, which are philosophical and theoretical frameworks for life. A foundation on how you live your life. But who has said that framework x works well for you, too?

If something works for the majority, that doesn’t mean it works for you.

Traditional education and self-help do not help us in cultivating the critical thinking skills needed to reevaluate our common frameworks. We…

Our mental approach to achievement defines subjective well-being.

Foto by Gil Ribeiro — Instagram: gileres

Do you believe you must set hairy audacious goals and then work harder than anyone to reach them, so you can live a happy and fulfilled life?

I used to think that, but life experiences up until this point, and learning about the science of positive psychology tells me it is more complicated.

A significant indicator of happiness is your mental approach to achievement.

The reason behind this is hedonic adaptation the concept that we get used to a new achievement relatively quickly.

Hedonic adaptation is a great motivator because it makes us strive for more. To work harder…


A personal story — from marketing at Coca-Cola to volunteering at an NGO

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Everybody wants to live a happy life. The problem is that the concept of how to be happy has not been explored in similar depth as, for example, business administration.

I get it. Happiness doesn’t pay the bills. But what is a life worth living without it?

Let me open your mind about the emerging science behind the psychology of well-being.

You might think that a respected job, sound money, a lovely house, a luxurious car, or the perfect body will make you happy.

The new science of positive psychology thinks differently. …

How building and fixing improves your mental health

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Yesterday was the first day in quarantine, in which a severe feeling of unhappiness crept up inside me. Not a slight “I don’t want to get out of bed” sense, but a “Damn, what if we have to live like this for the next year” depression.

Rather than pushing away the feeling, I leaned into it, went for a solo walk, and thought about all the things for which I am grateful. I am so lucky to be healthy, to not having to worry about putting food on the table, and to still being able to write. …

Build better relationships, enable others and improve your effectiveness

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Do you know someone who talks a lot? Someone who likes to hear himself speak? Or someone who speaks just for the sake of speaking?

Giving this person the benefit of the doubt, he or she most likely hasn’t learned the value of listening.

That person could be me. In the past, I have often caught myself thinking it was important to share my knowledge and advise others even though they did not ask.

After visiting a coaching workshop, the way I communicated utterly changed. …

Training the mental muscle to cope with change

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How to be happy? Answering the question of all questions has been philosophers’ quest since the beginning of time. Especially now where people are alone at home, this question is creeping back into the mind of the general public.

For many, being at home means being alone with one’s thoughts. While it can be an insightful experience, it will be new for those who tend to be busy or distracted.

Thoughts are great if they trigger positive emotions, but if they elicit negative emotions, we rarely know how to deal with it properly.

Studies have shown that mind-wandering or daydreaming…

Which do you choose — the well worn, or the less travelled path?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Reflecting on a colorful university experience during the post-grad blues occasionally elicits the realization that things could have gone differently. When you suddenly have to figure life out, the past is put into perspective.

Let’s be honest. During the studies, only a few know exactly where their life should go. If you’re anything like me, you probably went with the flow: going to class once in a while, procrastinating on papers and studying, freaking out before the due date, pulling an all-nighter, handing in an average effort, getting drunk, repeat.

I’m not going to lie: This was a helluva fun…

Jonas Nienau

Social Entrepreneur @ Changemaker. Writer. Inspiration and education to live a more meaningful and joyful life.

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