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Tiia Annika Wahlberg

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Two and a half years ago I decided to become a front-end developer. It was a rather ambitious decision as at the time I didn’t know what HTML meant and my attention span with computers was less than ten minutes. When I was six years old my sister tried to teach me how the clock works, but those numbers just got me very nervous and I refused to listen. And that was my attitude towards maths, physics and chemistry (anything to do with numbers really) for the years to come, until I decided to become a front-end developer.

On a Monday I hardly ever know what my next blog post will be about, but as the week progresses I notice that certain thoughts keep on repeating. What’s the theme for this week then? Well, I’ve been thinking if I’m a snail? Snails like to live a slower paced life, and they sometimes hide from the crowds. We live in a world of falcons and antelopes — this world loves speed, excitement and growth; sometimes to an extent that experiences and encounters remain shallow. Also happiness is to be achieved quickly, and the way to do that is to lower your expectations. But snails are not in a rush, and thus not ready to do that just yet.

In my previous post I mentioned that there are a few times and places in the past when I’ve felt like I’m just where I’m supposed to be, despite all the incompleteness of life. There might be chaos around me, but at the same time there is an exceptional calmness and focus inside. Like time would stop.

I began to think about this feeling more deeply and one word came to my mind: “bliss”. A word that I don’t actually even like. It has this rosy decoration around it and it sounds like a sloppy kiss. Nevertheless, bliss can be understood as a state of inner joy and contentment, despite the outside circumstances. During these blissful times, I’ve been happy with who I am and what I have, regardless of my accomplishments.

Some months ago I read a book about creativity. It was called “Big Magic”, written by the Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. In her book she took a fairy tale approach to creativity in which there is room for magic and mystery. Not everything has to be scientifically explained. The part of the book that most stuck with me was the following thought: what if ideas have consciousness and will of their own? What if they wander around trying to get someone’s attention and if that someone is alert and aware, the idea is realized through them. 

A year and a half ago I came across a theory by South African Daniel  Nogueira which suggested that in order to achieve one’s true potential, one should embrace those things that they naturally suck at. OK, he might have word it a bit differently but the point was the following:

There is always something that we want: freedom in our careers, someone to love, to help others or to help ourselves. And when we want something really badly, we are ready to do anything to get it. Because we think that that’s how the world works. You decide on a goal, encourage yourself with motivational quotes and get to work. But what if all that struggle actually brings you even further from your goal? And what if doing the exact opposite would actually broaden your perspective and eventually give you what you want with less effort? Sounds puzzling, right? Well, let me give you an example.

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