The Simple Things That Matter

As creative types most of us are running after the same thing – recognition for our talent and hard work. Between posting updates and pictures of ourselves on instagram, twitter, tumblr, facebook, snapchat, wordpress, pinterest and google plus, things can get a little out of control. We’re online so much that the number one place we look for inspiration is online instead of the world around us. Perhaps it’s easier to Google a tree than to put on your shoes, go outside and find a real one. But all studies show that happiness leans on these real moments. They reveal that we are consistently wrong about what we think will inspire us and give us the most satisfaction in life. More money? More status and recognition? You think once you crawl up the ranks and end up as big as Mario Testino or Anna Wintour you’ll be happy? Not at all. In fact, you won’t feel any different. This is what researchers call “The Hedonic Treadmill” which basically means that no matter how big your material gains, you’ll always want more. Or put it this way, Beyonce feels just about as rich as you. Where you and Beyonce likely feel reality differently is in the little things that count.

We’re all chasing after something, but we’d wager a guess that it’s usually either money, beauty or fame (or all three?). Humans tend to be motivated by two distinct types of goals: Extrinsic goals (money, image, status) and intrinsic goals (personal growth, relationships, helping others). No matter how you slice it, research shows that extrinsically oriented people get stuck on the hedonic treadmill. Period. Intrinsically oriented people on the other hand are happier. The majority of your efforts should go into simplifying your life, finding more time with your friends, and actually living your life offline out there in the real world. Consider everything you see below as your roadmap. Now go out and actually do it. Go seek quiet roads and open spaces young wolf!

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Drink coffee and play scrabble with friends. 

scrabble

Start writing. Fiction, nonfiction, memoir or just doodles. Whatever. Just do it. write

Go outside and ride your bike through the city. No phones, instead draw pictures of what you see. bike europe

Drink coffee somewhere secluded as far away from the sound of cars as you can get. coffee

Climb a mountain. 

1501b475efef1db435d9d79bc23e81b7

Finally tick Big Sur off your bucket list. 

big sur

Eat breakfast in bed. Spend the day in your PJs. 
breakfast in bed 2

Canoe to an island and have a picnic there. Brownie points if you’re brave enough to do it alone. 

canoe

Appreciate the view outside your bedroom window. 

city

Finally take that Great American road trip you’ve been dreaming about for years. joshua tree

Take the day off work, and just hang out and listen to music. 
relax

Get out of town, and discover new places you didn’t know were just around the corner. road

Learn how to sail, it’s the only dependable mode of transportation when the zombie apocalypse comes along. sail

Go camping with your friends.
sleep

Reconnect with an old friend. travel

Kick back and write about all the things you’re grateful for. 
write coffee

Natalia Borecka

Natalia is the editor in chief and publisher of Lone Wolf Magazine. She founded the publication in 2012.

3 Comments
  1. Sarah Bresnahan says:

    LOVE all of these. Thanks for the inspiration ladies xo

  2. This is so beautiful. Very well written. We need to make time for the good stuff again. We are kinda stuck in the dark eating junkfood when it’s a gorgeous day out in the real world.
    Thank you!

  3. If only I could recall this list everyday and remind myself how much bigger the world is than the four walls we live in.

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