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  • I've found the path to happiness.

  • Long time before I was born,

  • a fortune teller already knew it and wrote a very famous story about my life.

  • Even though he predicted a few things wrong.

  • He called the story "The Princess and the Pea".

  • You might have heard about it.

  • It is a story about a mother of a young prince

  • who wanted to find out if a girl was a real princess,

  • and therefore, might be a candidate to marry her son.

  • Therefore, she prepared a bed and piled up one mattress over the other.

  • Underneath the bed, she put a small pea.

  • The princess slept on top of all these mattresses.

  • And on the next morning, she said she had the worst night ever.

  • She couldn't sleep because something poked her the whole time.

  • The mother was relieved,

  • because only a real princess could have felt that small pea.

  • So, that is how the story had been told the last centuries.

  • Let me tell you how the story is supposed to be.

  • I guess, we are all clear about who I am in this story, right?

  • Yes, I am the princess.

  • I left my crown at home today, otherwise, it would have been too obvious.

  • As a princess of the 21st century, my life was perfect.

  • I successfully worked for a big company, I earned a lot, lived in a nice flat,

  • my closet was full of beautiful clothes and my car brand new.

  • I took fitness classes and spent my vacation on other continents.

  • You see, a very convenient life on many comfortable mattresses.

  • But there was something which poked me and kept me from feeling happy.

  • Do you know such a feeling that you are unhappy and don't know why?

  • I tried a lot to find that little something.

  • One mattress after the other, I checked on its effect on me.

  • As a young adult, I thought having a good career would make me happy.

  • So I gave my best at work and took a few steps on the career ladder.

  • After having a few positions, I gave up hope to find fulfillment in my job.

  • I was 25 then.

  • I started to look for happiness in my leisure time.

  • I tried different sports, voluntary work, signed up for language courses.

  • Now, I can introduce myself in Indian: Mera naam Jannike hai.

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you.

  • I read many guidebooks.

  • One of them said, "If you want to be happy, eat healthy."

  • So, I ate vegan and drank many smoothies.

  • (Laughter)

  • Another guidebook said,

  • "If you want to be happy, be grateful for the little things."

  • So, I kept a gratitude journal.

  • I went to a career counseling,

  • I took a media free time, I took a consumption free time,

  • I went on a pilgrimage.

  • But still...

  • When my father got cancer, the type of guidebooks I read changed.

  • Now, I read books about death

  • and about what people regret at the end of their life.

  • The actor Tom Hiddleston once said, "We all have two lives.

  • And the second one starts when we realize that we only have one."

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

  • So, I needed to do something, immediately.

  • But what? Should I change my profession?

  • Become a journalist? A photographer?

  • Or better, a carpenter? Should I study again?

  • Or should I work at all?

  • But how should I pay my gym then?

  • (Laughter)

  • What I knew was the answer to happiness I was longing for

  • waited for me somewhere out there.

  • And I knew that I was absolutely willing to find it.

  • So I sold my possessions, left my apartment, quit my gym contract,

  • saved money, took a three-year-long leave with my employer,

  • without knowing what to do.

  • Of course, I kept on reading guidebooks.

  • One day, I read about a girl who tried out different jobs.

  • That was it! I knew! I also would test jobs before I chose one for my future.

  • The plan was quickly made up: I wanted to test 30 jobs in one year;

  • a number where the likelihood to find my dream job seemed high to me.

  • I built up a blog, wrote a list of jobs I wanted to get to know

  • and I asked friends for recommendations.

  • I got a few internships offered.

  • Imagine if you had the choice to sample a few jobs, which one would you choose?

  • Let me ask you: who of you would like to experience a job of a police officer?

  • Hands up, please. OK.

  • Is someone here who would like to be an architect?

  • Oh, yes.

  • A wine grower?

  • (Laughter)

  • I did that.

  • Another question was still unsolved.

  • Where should I sleep? I had no flat anymore.

  • I decided to test the jobs in the whole country

  • and to use Couchsurfing to find 30 places to stay.

  • But the most important thing for me was all the people I would accompany

  • had to be passionate in their profession,

  • because I wouldn't find mine, if I accompany people like myself.

  • At this point, I didn't know that the thing I was looking for

  • would be much more important to me than just a passionate job.

  • One week before my project started, my father died.

  • I still had many fears and doubts in this time; I asked myself,

  • what if I feel homeless and alone?

  • What if I run out of money?

  • What if there is no such thing as a dream job?

  • What if...?

  • The telephone rang. It was Susana, my first host at Couchsurfing.

  • She wanted to know the time of my arrival.

  • And just like that, it was time for job number one.

  • I started my year as an educator for 1 to 3 year-olds.

  • I thought playing with children should be an easy thing to start with.

  • (Laughter)

  • Indeed, I had a great week, even though a child peed on me.

  • (Laughter)

  • And I needed to revise the picture I had of an educator.

  • It is hard work.

  • After that, I experienced professions such as teacher, farmer,

  • seller, and tourist guide.

  • However, in the second third of my project

  • I felt that my need for security and stability became bigger.

  • I thought about settling and the job as a career counselor.

  • But again, I felt that I curtailed myself from many opportunities,

  • giving in to the wish for security and stability.

  • I let go and decided to ask the readers of my blog for advice

  • and let them decide which job I would choose next.

  • Surprisingly, the majority of the votes went for a profession

  • I never thought I could do.

  • Pathologist.

  • (Laughter)

  • My first thought, "Oh, my god! No, I can't do it."

  • Is someone here who would like to be a pathologist?

  • Oh, a few. Why is that? Because it's well paid?

  • Even though I'm not really into blood and corpses,

  • I decided to pursue the job the readers selected for me.

  • And in retrospect, it was one of the best experiences I had.

  • To see all the organs and to see how amazingly human body works,

  • lead me to a healthy lifestyle, to appreciate what I've got.

  • By making this experience, I was able to free my mind again

  • and to see chances as chances again.

  • And this time, I learned to let go, to trust in me, and to trust in life.

  • For example, one Sunday night, I arrived at the place of a couchsurfer,

  • and he didn't show up.

  • I couldn't reach him and after waiting for over an hour,

  • I knocked on his neighbor's door

  • and asked for Internet to find another place to stay.

  • "You can stay here if you want," the neighbour said.

  • I had plenty of situations like this, and I had before,

  • but I had unlearned to see them.

  • In my last job, it was the 30th job, I accompanied a midwife.

  • On the last day of my last job,

  • we already celebrated the completion of my project with a barbecue.

  • A pregnant woman called.

  • And at two minutes to 11 pm,

  • we welcomed her little son on planet Earth,

  • a moment which I will never forget.

  • Even though the project was very exhausting,

  • it was the most enriching time of my life.

  • Not one of my fears and doubts I had before I started the journey

  • became reality.

  • Some of them even took care of themselves.

  • My gym, for example, I worried I couldn't pay for,

  • burnt down a few months later.

  • (Laughter)

  • At a certain point in my project, I stopped asking myself "What if?"

  • because I noticed that I know too little about the world

  • to make good decisions only by thinking.

  • Since then I just do it if it feels right.

  • And by trusting in life,

  • I got so many good things in return I never could have imagined.

  • I learned a lot about different kinds of jobs,

  • but much more, I learned about myself.

  • Now, I know what I like, what I'm good at, what is important to me.

  • And by taking away one mattress after the other,

  • I finally found what poked me all over the last years

  • and what didn't let me be happy even if I had it all.

  • Under the last mattress I expected a small pea,

  • but there was something much bigger: my intuition.

  • That intuition I always had looked down on.

  • And the same intuition which would never let me be happy if I further ignore it

  • no matter how successful I would have been or how much money I earned.

  • By feeling myself again, and by following my intuition,

  • I finally found the happiness I had looked for so many years.

  • Because my intuition knew before me that I'm worthy just as I am.

  • The life lesson I learned and I want to share with you today

  • is embrace your feelings.

  • It is a paradox to look for passion and happiness on the one hand,

  • and to dismiss feelings as weakness on the other hand.

  • You cannot find happiness

  • without allowing yourself to have feelings;

  • the popular ones and the unpopular ones.

  • Identify and embrace them.

  • Before I leave you today, I need to make a confession.

  • I lied to you. I'm not the princess.

  • I'm just a normal girl.

  • And to find your inner voice is not a luxury thing.

  • It is the [base] for everything,

  • because the way I treat myself, I treat others.

  • And when you go the bed tonight,

  • you might want to have a look under your mattress.

  • Believe me, it is worth it.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I've found the path to happiness.

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B1 US job princess mattress intuition happiness pea

【TEDx】What if the job market helped you to discover yourself? | Jannike Stöhr | TEDxVienna

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    ステンドG posted on 2016/05/15
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