A simple secret about the nature of happiness learned from two years of self-discovery, self-love, and genuine curiosity about what I want.

A few days ago, I officially became homeless. Five days from now, I will step onto a plane with a backpack and a suitcase containing almost everything in this world I can call my own. A part of me hardly believes this is happening and another part of me feels like it already has, like it’s not an accident, like everything I’ve done these past two years has been leading up to precisely this moment.

I’ve been receiving an overwhelming amount of support on this leg of my journey of self-discovery. I am so grateful for all your support, love, and kind words.

It seems like my decision to sell everything I own and travel the world reflects a secret, burning desire within the hearts and minds of people all over the world. It’s like we all crave the same freedom and the way we bring more freedom into the world is, simply, by setting ourselves free. By that, we inspire and uplift others just by existing.

And still, many people say to me “You’re so lucky” or “You must be doing so well” (financially, I think they mean) or “You’re so naturally brave”—none of these are true. My luck has all been self-made. I have much less money than everyone thinks. And I’m scared a lot of the time.

I think the only real difference is commitment. I’ve committed to myself. I’ve committed to listening to my own inner call and to answering it.

Imagine my surprise when my inner call said, “Quit your day job” or when it said, “Forgive your father,” “Sell all your things and move,” and “Give your money to charity.” At the time, these messages seemed so unreasonable and uncalled for. They interfered with my comfortable existence and the way I was used to doing things.

But I did them. I listened.

I listened to my own inner voice, no matter how difficult it was to hear. And here I am, happier than ever.

It’s strange, but there’s this part of me that knows what is best for me. Sometimes, it makes mistakes, but those mistakes are ones I need to make. Sometimes, it leads me to pain, but it never leads me to stagnation.

I’ve also learned that this inner voice doesn’t speak English, so sometimes it’s hard to decipher. I’ve learned that my responsibility in this world isn’t to fix myself, but rather to trust myself.

There’s already a voice within that longs to sing my own unique melody. And all my life, I was trying to write a tune, invent a song that represented me, always growing bored or frustrated or violent, never knowing quite how to string the notes along so they’d feel right.

I was trying to create something that had to be discovered. I was trying to make what had to be found.

And so many people want the quick fix, the secret, the one final answer to the question “How can I be happy?” But there is no final answer. There is only the question and the million answers you’ll ask throughout your life.

The secret of happiness, if there is one, is to ask yourself, every day, what you need. To ask and to listen.

Listen to yourself. Really listen. Listen as closely and deeply as you would to someone you respect, love, and admire. Develop a reverence for your body, mind, and spirit. Listen to that inner call and do everything in your power to make it come true.

That is the secret of happiness, of love, of freedom, of healing. Just listen. Ask, listen, and trust.

That is how you build a beautiful life worth living and worth sharing with others. That is how you become an example just by existing. That is how you change the world.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful journey with me and walking on this path. I can’t wait to see where we go together, my friend.


14 thoughts on “The Simple Secret of Happiness

  1. It was difficult for me to start listening to myself. I hadn’t for so long that I didn’t recognize my own voice. Now that I’ve finally learned to listen to myself I’m discovering happiness. I’m discovering life on a whole new level. I wish you luck in your travels. This must be an exciting and frightening time for you. It most definitely will transform you. The journeys we take when we really start listening to ourselves are the best journeys.

    1. Thank you Lovelyn! I am happy to hear that you’re enjoying this amazing journey as well 🙂 And, you know, it’s not as frightening as you may think. This is one of the easiest choices I’ve ever made. It’s hard to explain. Like quitting an addiction. Enough is enough, you know? Especially when you have a lifeline, when you have an open, beautiful path of a new life ahead of you. Cravings for safety become distant memories, a sort of deja vu. I think one can really get used to anything – suffering, self-respect. It’s all a matter of time. 🙂

  2. Go you!

    I’ve done this several times — quit a job/a career and embarked on a journey. By bike, by motorcycle, by kayak . . . it always works out in surprising ways.

    Mystery will unfold itself at your feet. Joy will curl into your stomach and take up residence. Spirit fire will burn from your eyes.

    Go V, go!


  3. I am so happy for you Vironika. I’m a person scared of change in general but I’m discovering lately that without making changes I can’t experience things and discover myself and my abilities! Thank you for allowing me to enjoy the journey with you!

    1. I know how that is! I used to actually be afraid of getting new friends, going to new places, or listening to new music. I’m no stranger to fear of change. I’m glad we’re all walking together on this journey and it’s comforting to know that the journey is so similar for us all (though, of course, unique). Keep on walking, beautiful!

  4. Vironika – I am inspired by what you are doing and I enjoy reading your posts. They help me to ground myself and really consider what is important in life and that I need to feel grateful.
    I do not have the courage to do what you are doing. I suppose I feel too tied to my house and I really find I do best with a solid home base to come back to or at least I find it gives me some degree of comfort and stability. I have and do suffer from depression – most of the time it is ok, however I have some deeps spells and stability seems to help. I work at managing it and am working through a spell and when it acts up I feel far less adventurous, however, even when healthy I could not be doing what you are doing. I truly wish you the best and I look forward to continue reading about your journey and your thoughts. Take care!

    1. I am happy these posts inspire you, Daniel. I know how it is to be afraid of change or adventure, believe me. We shed our external identities like we shed skin. I don’t think that the person I believed I was 5 years ago would have ever thought I was capable of doing this. That is the beauty of being human – constant, beautiful change (sometimes, whether we like it or not) 😉

  5. I know change and fear of the unknown bothers me, yet as you mention in other blogs, change and challenge provide opportunities for growth that we would not otherwise experience.
    For me, my wife and pets are my immediate family and the most important thing to me. The depression really knocks the confidence out of a person as little tasks seem difficult and one finds coping with everyday life difficult. However, one must learn to manage and push through the negative thoughts and try to rebuild that confidence and change themselves, their outlook etc. to get to a healthier place – which is what I am trying to do and your journey helps to do that.

    1. Thank you for being so honest, Daniel. I admire your determination and your vulnerability. I have found, from my own battles with toxic thoughts, that the only sane way to deal with them is to invite them in, to be 100% completely open to them. They become embedded in us, too often, because we push them away. When we invite them, embrace them, and simply listen to them without believing them, they lose their power over us and they get the acceptance they need before they can fly away. At least, in my experience. Thank you for listening and opening your heart and mind to me!

  6. Vironika is inspiring, without doubt. Her voice fits me. She could say the same things I have seen or read before, yet I hear it, as if the message has been decoded, thanks to her perspective. And! The irony, the connection, the thing that tugs at me whilst I read, is that I like her voice, her advice, her cadence, her way of sharing, because in certain moments, I hear and see myself in her.

    My great take away, is that if i hear her, because I see myself in her, that means that I am empowered by what feels (at times) like my own reflection. Perhaps some others have this same feeling, and if so, it is empowering to remember that we aren’t running from ourselves, if we seek pieces of ourselves in others. Self love, even in dark moments, that it something to think about!

    Thank you Vironika. I have scoured your posts many a late night, and I just purchased your book so you can be on my nightstand too. You are brave and loving. Thank you for that!

    1. Wow, Sofia, you are just spot on. And your words are so beautiful!

      You are so right. What inspires us in each other is glimmers of ourselves, and not our separate selves, but that united, interconnected, interdependent potential that is present in each moment.

      I think this is a moment of love between us. If not, what is?

      I appreciate you. I see you.

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