How Merry Is Merry, How Happy Is Happy? — A Message Of Data-Driven Hope

2018 has been so weird. The world seemed out of balance. Environmental protection failed big time. And personally? Me, I lived this year as mindfully, as creatively as never before — yet often struggling for optimism. How merry and happy does this festive season get?

On the surface, I am more than fine.

On the surface, everyone in the western industrial countries is more than fine!

Plus, our staged social media reality has turned everybody and their cat into a star and, obviously, a millionaire with plenty of free time on their hands for exotic travel nevermind the polar ice cap melting, croissants in bed nevermind the environmentally problematic palm oil, enviable parties nevermind single use straws and décor, gorgeous lovers Insta husbands, I feel you and shopping fun galore fast fashion not going anywhere anytime soon.

How Merry Is Merry? 
How Happy Is Happy?

In my work, I like to inspire positive action: to create a story that helps a brand connect with just the right customer; to describe a product the way for it to be found best; to find the perfect words and images to convey a feeling; and, of course, to share doable, sensible ideas on making better, healthier and more sustainable decisions.

But if you, like me, feel the need to inspire positive change, the research you do and the discussions you have may be very disheartening, as are the news: there’s the palm oil lobby pushing for deregulations, there’s still turning a blind eye on slavery, there are female rights in modern, western countries endagered by male decision-makers pretending to protect lives, environmental goals not being met due to the ignorance of those in power… Not easy to remain optimistic, right?

Still, I don’t want to create from a place of anger and frustration. My job is not to polarize people.
I like and seek knowledge, beauty and harmony. I believe in the power of knowledge, of beauty and of harmony. My mission is to make people get on better, to invite them to enjoy the wealth of wisdom.

And in tune with this mission what I think is true for many of us is that we in the business of changemaking need to focus on ourselves first. Like an adult who grabs his breathing mask on a plane before helping a child, we can’t rely on others to cater for our balance, nor for our happiness.
Because the most funny, ironic, amazing thing about it is: the way you treat yourself equals the way you treat others and the world.

You do treat, judge, love, hate, support and suppress others, the world, Nature, the environment the same way you actually treat, judge, love, hate, support and suppress yourself. “Why does the world deserve better than me?” is the reasoning I’ve met in many of those who resist the “green” way. That’s why we need each and every bit of self-love and self-respect and positivitynot naiveté, just a positive attitude of “let’s assume the best” — we can nurture.

Let that sink in.

Bad: Feverish Fake News
Good: Data-Based News!

And as you munch on this enlightening thought, let me spread a little bit of really good, quality news, via one of my favourite authors, Steven Pinker’s, most recent book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Enlightenment! Science! Humanism! Be still my heart!

In his latest oeuvre, the renowned cognitive scientist proves (with data) how peace, health, prosperity, even happiness tend to rise worldwide. Yes. In 2018. That for sure is different than what all the click-bait media content and the social media anger-rythms set up to stir unrest are dishing out. The numbers speak a totally different language. Fascinating.

Pinker holds three things dear, and these are reason, science, and humanism. He sees these core values of a great life and future threatened by religious fundamentalism, political correctness, and… postmodernism.

You Yourself Are Damn Good News

All of this beautifully aligns with how I think we can — and should! — nurture self-love in order to share it with the world. There are a couple of ways, and they all play together:

  • Nurture your talent to be your true self
    (and I’ll admit it: I’m guilty of seeing my talents as mere commodity instead of honouring them! Talking about new year’s resolutions)
  • Create healthy habits to support both your outer beauty and your mind’s potential
  • Live mindfully to master your mind and find more calm and happiness
  • Value science, learning, and ethics 
  • Learn to “budget” your single most valuable resource: your time

I see long-time readers nod in agreement how this ties with the purpose of BEAUTYCALYPSE — healthy habits, mindful and intentional living are an essential part of an ethical and healthy life and discussed at great length here.

But talking about nurturing your talent to find more happiness; discussing a lifestyle of self-actualisation and learning efficient time planning techniques is new ground here.

It’s something we’ll see more of come 2019 simply because these things are the true undercurrents of a healthy ethical lifestyle: if you’re unhappy, pressed for time, overwhelmed by social media and just life’s expectiations in general, how are you supposed to care for the planet?

It takes a lot of time to research the best ethical picks for yourself, it takes time to find causes close to your heart to support (campaigning animal welfare, ending modern-day slavery, saving the oceans from plastic pollution) — but if you’re not in the mood, lack the time and have urgent personal problems to solve, trust me, you’re not going to be a great green hero.

So, where do you start?
How about developing a healthy, wholesome morning routine that will nourish your body and soul?
It’s a great “project” that’s not hard to figure out and you’ve still got plenty of time to “rehearse” its different versions before 2019 strikes.

And in 2019, we’ll figure out the rest.
Pinky swear.

BEAUTYCALYPSE: Healthy habits, mindful and intentional living are an essential part of an ethical and healthy life .

Image copyright: ©
Photography: I. Montag (opening image), N. Eule-Mau (tea time portraits).


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)