my name is Jakob a.k.a. wollekob and I am a self-proclaimed happiness nurse, aspiring lifehacker and full time explorer.
This is my blog on which you can peek into my brain, see reason wrestling with emotion, follow my adventures and read along as I figure out how to crack the code called life and find answers on how to excel at and enjoy it.
But first things first; let me introduce myself.
Who the hell is wollekob
I was born and raised in Germany by loving parents, who gave me freedom and wings to explore. I am blessed to have no physical or mental disabilities, at least none I know of, and to have had a carefree childhood, growing up in the western world and not in poverty. During my early years I was a stubborn kid, not wanting to go on walks and being picky about what I ate. My imagination being grand, I loved fighting fictitious enemies using branches as swords and pistols. My earliest memory is my first day of school. As part of a german tradition, I was given a school cone stuffed with sweets, pencils and small toys. Being as big as myself, it was almost to heavy to carry. Sports played and continue playing a big role in my life. Be it skiing, swimming or playing tennis; my parents supported me in every endeavour. But I was never committed enough to pursue a sport / sports ship / any of them competitively.
At the age of 12 I discovered the realm of online fantasy games which till 17 consumed a lot of my time. I even played during the night to level up continuously. Ashamed, I would not admit to myself nor others that I was addicted. Real life began with my first kiss and early intimate experiences.
I switched my passion for gaming with working out and eating healthy, mostly because I wanted to look great naked.
After graduating high school, I took off for Australia.
I bought my first car with my new friend from Switzerland, a 4×4 Holden Jackaroo 2004, and had my biggest adventure so far. We cruised around the vast continent for 4 months before I moved to Melbourne to work and sell our Holden. Australia was a blast, as was South East Asia afterwards.
Hiking through jungles, diving with turtles and driving scooters in between. The theme was freedom. And then it got serious.
After coming home, I became a Corporate Student in Business & Computer Science, alternating between study and work periods. Being very motivated, I worked hard to be productive. But most of the time, I just seemed busy. Time flew by and with friends terminating their studies, an uneasiness started to spread. The path I was on did not look as I pictured it. It was not leading me to where I wanted to go.
“Don’t throw away an opportunity for a nice and steady paycheck. You wanted it, here you are, and you hate it.
What’s wrong with you? Can’t you be normal and pull through for the next 2 and a half years?”
I could not. The thoughts of “What if I quit?” and “Am I brave enough?” were omnipresent. Not able to focus, I was drifting away, browsing for alternatives. My brain was rattling at full blast 24/7, giving me no rest.
I realized that if I don’t do it now, I will never dare to escape the cubicle.
Grasping the truism that only after we make a decision can we fully commit to something, I made one. It took time, letting go was hard. For the sake of my own well being and happiness, I quit – showing my middle finger to the scripted life.
I am willing to dare. And I hope you are too.
I am an egoistic animal. I want the best for myself, be happy; and I believe you want just the same.
Imagine everyone being truly happy; satisfied with one’s life, finding meaning in their work, living joyfully on a daily basis. We would be all better off. But how does one achieve this state of being? Leaving plenty of room for interpretation, happiness becomes very hard to grasp.
It’s not about not knowing what happiness is; a google search will spit out accurate definitions. What stops us from living the lives we crave is consistent execution towards it. We fail to act on a regular basis, and we do so out of several reasons; which are best told through a story …
A story on life, success and the pursuit of happiness
At this very moment in time, there exists a place with mountains so high they crack clouds apart, with deserts so wide that one walks for days and never leaves them and oceans so deep that not even the sun dares to look into them. It’s where life flourishes in abundance, and comes in all shapes and sizes. This place is called earth; a beautiful, giant ball of matter, home to trillions of animals and plants, home to a species called human. Humans are different from all other life on the planet in that they strive after an ultimate goal, an ultimate state of being.
Luckily, there seems to be a manual for it.
The inner sensation humans strive after is a state called “happiness”, and the manual on how to experience it follows a basic principle; gathering money and luxuries to be called successful by society’s standards. If they do so, a happiness candy is given to them, which will provide this ultimate state of being humans seek so much.
Now the manual is no more than a mere image; an unwritten rule everybody knows of, but nobody has ever seen. But the systems put into place by society and mainstream media make it hard to question its validity, requiring great bravery to break out of the system. Besides, the humans are being preached the guidelines from an early age. Becoming indoctrinated, they look straight instead of left or right. Not aware of what they truly want and oblivious towards what makes them happy, they follow suit. Everybody does it, so the manual has to be correct, right?
A widely spread reason for why we fail to be happy is lack of knowledge about ourselves. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you are never going to find it.
As you might imagine, there are multiple outcomes to the story. A majority follows the guidelines of the manual. Interpreting it as a race, they invest a lot of time and work very hard, gathering a substantial amount of money and luxuries. Soon called successful and looked up to by others, they are given the happiness candy. Upon freeing it from its package, the candy looks shiny and flawless, just as portrayed by media. It’s sweetness is flooding their senses, leaving a numb feeling they interpret as happiness. Having achieved the dream state, they feel proud and fulfilled.
Though the happy ending seems plausible, the story often ends in excessive desire and greed. After receiving the happiness candy, some experience the taste changing. It becomes bitter and bad and they spit it out. Accustomed to the numbing sweetness, the majority wants a new candy. These humans continue gathering money to accumulate luxuries; fueled by the believe that the more candies they are given, the happier they will become. But their greedy stomachs will never be satisfied.
What both outcomes have in common is the path of destruction the humans leave on the planet and in their relationships. Seeing the happiness candy as the prime goal of their existence, the humans become ignorant towards the consequences of their actions and neglect other areas of their lives. It is as if they are wearing glasses with dioptres adjusted to the sole purpose of clouding everything but the candy and the road towards it.
Everybody will come to experience the world unblurred, as it really is. Some put down their glasses voluntarily, urged by an inner uneasiness. Others happen to experience an event which shatters their glasses into pieces, readjusting their vision on the truly important. Upon glimpsing reality and the consequences of their actions, all become afraid.
Looking around and seeing only few stopping, they claim that there is no way out of this misery. A minority sets out to fix what all of them have destroyed; the rest keeps chasing the candy. Never facing their mistakes and fears, they carry them along for the rest of their lives.
In all of the possible outcomes, only few end up with the courage to leave their current path. The ones who follow their inner voice start searching for alternatives, looking at their lives with a deeper sense of awareness. Some become aware of the chains dangling from their feet, grasping the prison they have built up around them …
By accumulating luxuries we clutter our lives with obligations and burdens. We glue our self-worth to the things we own and constantly worry about what we might lose. We get caught in the cycle to support the lifestyle we create, and don’t stop to really enjoy it.
Chasing happiness destroys the planet
I dread to become a person that fits any of these descriptions. Thus, I stopped running and reflected.
I realized that what the manual advocates is not my definition of success, and what the candy provides is a superficial sweetness, a happiness tied to things I don’t desire to own. Because it is bitter and false in its core, it has to be packed nicely and look tempting to be presented to us. Otherwise we wouldn’t buy it.
Instead, I believe to find happiness within and all around us. We carry around a happiness seed wherever we go. And it needs, like all seeds, the right nutrients to flourish.
Only few acknowledge this truism, even less act upon it. Instead, we perceive life as a race and chase the candy. We oppress our inner voice and seek success and happiness as defined by others. Not aware of or ignorant towards it, we discard the nutrients for our happiness seed to flourish.
In the process we harm our body, spirit and mind as well as the people we care and love.
Our planet. We exploit it. We destroy it. We are the major cause for suffering and pain on earth.
There will be no happy end if we continue along this path. So come on the gravelled road and it will be us contributing towards a brighter future.
I am willing to dare. And I hope you are too.
Creating a happiness synergy
In order to find out what makes us truly happy, we have to listen to our inner voice, explore the foundations for our happiness seed to thrive, and act accordingly.
We will strip away all the layers media, others and society have put upon us, define happiness on our terms and create it. And I believe to strike upon a common ground. Let’s start with a short definition of money.
Money is deeply integrated into our society as a tool of exchange. It is a means of survival around the globe and the anxiety to lack money is a major propellant of action. But oftentimes we don’t fear not having enough to survive; we come to fear never having enough.
I don’t abandon monetary exchange, though I support other means of trading goods & services. But I believe that money will not purchase happiness for someone who has no concept of what he wants. It will not provide us with a purpose, if we have evaded the choice of what to seek. I aim to discard the concept of following a scripted path for the sole purpose of earning a big paycheck; without questioning its direction, without knowing our true desires and whether it leads us towards their satisfaction. I want to challenge the assumption that we need to own loads to feel fulfilled and manifest the idea of using money to purchase experiences, sharing them with people we admire and love.
I believe that relationships will give us a safety net no money on this planet can buy.
I aim to invest in a different saving account. One that makes not myself but my life rich; in which I stored joyful experiences and moments of time in the pride of having lived.
This is what I regard as my manual and strive to live by. But there is a great amount of questions to be found and answered. And that’s what I set out to discover. I will seek out experiences to explore my true self, others and our beautiful planet. Experiences bringing me and my loved ones true joy; making me connect to nature and our planet; filling my life with meaning and not regret.
I will aim to shed light on everyday treasures surrounding us, learning to appreciate what I have, and to experience happiness from simple pleasures life offers in abundance.
I will aspire to crack the code called life and find answers to questions on how to excel at and enjoy it.
And I will share every step along my journey.
I do it to craft myself into a happy person, becoming the grandest vision I see for myself, and be able to inspire and help you to tap into your inner voice, use your true potential and craft yourself into a happy person jointly with me.
I truly believe a happy person creates a synergy with the planet, making it happy too.
I am willing to dare. And I hope you are too.