Last week I shared some of my plans with you, the goals which I’d like to achieve this year. I had a thought that January is also an ideal month for presenting a person who may allow you too look at your lives from a different angle … a perspective, which will totally change your lives. But first things first! Does searching for happiness give you sleepless nights? Is it hard for you to find your inner peace and organize your daily routines in a way which would maximally foster your personal growth and make your biggest dreams come true? Maybe you lack the spirit of joy and optimism to face new challenges? If your answer to the above mentioned questions is yes, you must really read this interview. PS. If you do well in your lives, you should also have a look at this text!
Today, I’m really happy to introduce you to Monika – the author of a blog Just Happy Life, who will willingly share her recipe for happiness, and most importantly, she will help you to organize your goals in a way, which will make it possible to obtain them.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Monika: I’m a graphic designer, blogger, and more recently, also a wife. The wife who designed invitations, vignettes, wedding questionnaires and even sketched her own wedding dress all by herself. When I carry out a project which is truly important for me – no matter how difficult it is – I never give up until I try out all of the possible solutions I could find. When people grow up, they can be easily talked into believing that their dreams are unattainable. They resign too quickly. Sometimes it’s enough just to look at things from a different angle. While developing our creativity we open up ourselves to new solutions to our problems. On my blog Just Happy Life I share this kind of imaginative view of the world and our everyday reality.
Passion Piece: What do you do for a living?
Monika: On an everyday basis I work as a graphic designer in a medical company, which deals with creating various types of materials (mainly comics) related to the topic of different diseases. I think it’s quite a funny twist of fate, as in the past, I could devote the whole lesson of biology to drawing cells, mitochondria or blood circulation systems in my notebook. At present, I draw and edit similar things, the only difference is that now I am paid for them. After work, I often handle my own graphic orders. Late in the evening, I usually wrap myself in a blanket, I sit with a cup of coffee on my favorite ottoman and I work on my creative online space, which means my blog.
Passion Piece: Was is a tough decision for you to move to London?
Monika: Not at all! It was a spontaneous decision. I told everyone that I was leaving and coming back in a moment. Thanks to such an approach I managed to avoid dark despair and pompous farewells with my dear ones. I was supposed to leave just for a two months’ long internship with Erasmus, but I enjoyed it so much, that I decided to stay longer.
Someone once said that the day we start traveling, the notion of ‘home’ no longer refers only to one place on the Earth. I totally agree with that statement. If we are given a chance to live somewhere, to lead an everyday life – we always leave a part of ourselves there. That’s why, naturally, London has become my second home.
Passion Piece: What inspired you to set up a blog?
Monika: When I was setting up my blog justhappylife.pl, I wanted to inspire others to lead happy and creative lives. I didn’t know back then what I was going to do professionally or how I was going to make ends meet in the future. Alongside with running my blog, my interests were gradually developing.
At that time, I was studying interior design and urban planning, but I was never fully convinced that I chose the right course of study. Classes in interior design were much more interesting and it was the time when I fell in love with graphic design. While running my blog whose main motto is: ‘Follow your dreams, live creatively’ – I was in a real quandary – when it came to choosing the right professional path for myself. Shortly thereafter, I got my dream post of a graphic designer. That’s why, my blog is so special to me. Thanks to my website I’ve become a better version of myself and I inspire others to do so too. I talk about how to change dreams into goals and how to plan effectively. Above all, however, how to arouse creativity in oneself, which is hidden deep inside all of us.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers what doodle, zentangle or sketchnoting are?
Monika: Doodle, zentangle and sketchnoting are some special ways of drawing. Each of them is quite specific, and despite that fact some people still confuse them.
-Doodling took its name from passionless squiggling in a notebook, while listening to somebody with half an ear and our mind being somewhere else. These kinds of drawings can be created, for example, on the sides of our notebooks while listening to boring lectures at the university. It’s hard to clearly identify that style, as it tends to be very personalized. It often happens that the whole pages are filled with little pieces, figures or letters. My doodles, most of the times, present optimistic creatures, placed really closely one next to another. In this way I draw my positive world and I pass this positivity to others.
-Zentangle stands for filling bigger elements of drawings with abstract patterns. Some people call this method ‘an artistic meditation’, as it helps in focusing one’s thoughts on one particular activity. The end result may resemble a mosaic drawing.
-Sketchnoting means drawing pictures quickly, which is very useful while creating fast notes, mostly when it comes to visual notes. This method is frequently used during various types of trainings or presentations. It’s also a great tool to carry out brainstorming. For sketchnoting one can use so called flip charts, that is whiteboards or easle paper pads.
Passion Piece: How did your adventure with bullet journaling start?
Monika: It was a total coincidence. One day I found an article on the Internet related to a calendar which could be created on our own. I love all kinds of creative initiatives, so the idea of having a customized planner occurred to be very tempting for me.
It turned out to be the best organizational tool I’ve ever used. I don’t need to worry if two days aren’t planned, and the next three are over-planned and full of notes. In bullet journaling there is no rigidly fixed jotting space for a specified day. It means we will be left with no empty space, even if it happens that there were very few plans or there were no plans at all. It was the first calendar I didn’t throw away after a month of using it.
Passion Piece: Why is bullet journaling getting more and more popular?
Monika: It’s been caused by the earlier mentioned flexibility. We won’t find two the same bullet journals. Each one is customized for a given person, the one who decides to lead it. Some people like drawing beautiful title pages, decorate them with charts and colorful Magic Markers – because it’s easier for them to organize themselves in such a way. Others prefer simple markings, a minimalist look of calendars and lack of colors.
It’s this possibility of adjusting a given calendar to our own needs, which makes the idea of bullet journals and their popularity constantly growing.
Passion Piece: How can one run it successfully?
Monika: First of all, we shouldn’t get crazy about drawing all possible kinds of charts, but we should try to find the ones which will suit us best. We can find lots of inspirations online. We can monitor our habits or moods. We can also create various types of lists, for example, of books which we would like to read or films which we would like to watch. It’s possible to create yearly, monthly, weakly and even daily calendars. However, the most important aspect is the process of planning itself. When it comes to me, it has occurred that most successful way of planning involves setting 3 MAIN GOALS for a given day, which must be obtained. Everything else, come hell or high water, but these three are the most important. Priority-setting and reaching our goals give us tremendous satisfaction. Such a method allows us to focus on what is really important for us. It’s very easy to forget about that in the contemporary world, since we are surrounded by lots of different distractions.
Passion Piece: What are your hobbies?
Monika: Besides graphic design I like drawing vector illustrations and sketch doodles in my notebook. In my free time, I read a lot and I try to gain new knowledge. I’m especially interested in the books related to marketing, psychology and business issues. On my shelves you would find more handbooks rather than typical novels. In summer, I love playing basketball and tennis.
I always try to combine my passions and use them to carry out interesting ideas. One of them is my blog, which was created out of my passion for personal growth, drawing, graphic design and writing tales.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Monika: I don’t like making such distant plans. Today’s world keeps changing very fast, and sometimes it’s difficult to follow all of these changes. It’s dynamic, insecure. We evolve together with our thoughts and goals in this world. I prefer to focus on monthly, yearly or two-year plans. When it comes to further future, I just make an outline – a general vision of the direction which I’d like to follow. I never anchor myself and I’m always open to changes. Especially if I know that the world around me has changed or I have changed myself, and at a given moment something else will be better for me. At the time being, my general vision includes further development of my passion, and having a big and creative family together with my husband.
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Monika: ‘Happiness is not something you find, but rather something you create’ – this sentence was said by Bruce Feiler during one of his TED presentations. This statement has a great power. It makes us realize that we have control over happiness or unhappiness in our lives. An enormous influence on that state of affairs have OUR thoughts, OUR deeds and OUR attitude. It’s worth remembering that, especially when we wake up in the morning ready to start a new day.
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this inspiring conversation and I wish you just a happy life, both when it comes to your private life, as well as the one related to your professional career.
I hope that this interview will be an ideal motivation for you during this year … as happiness is not something you find, but it is something you create. How are you going to make your dreams come true?
See you around!
Photos by: Just happy life
Website which you should visit: http://justhappylife.pl/