Real talk

Searching for happiness

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I used to think that being popular and having lots of friends would make me happy. I used to think that being successful and making money would make me feel self-confident. I used to think that if I would have a boyfriend, I would be able to experience what love feels like. It was only once I had all those things that I realized none of them would ever be able to give me the happiness I was searching for.

I wanted other people to validate me and outside circumstances to fall into place so that I could be happy.

Good grades, popularity & boyfriends

When I was in 5th grade I was desperate for good grades, so that I could show them to my parents and make them proud. I thought that academic achievements would earn me love and approval.

When I was in 7th grade I had no friends, I used to eat my lunch in the school bathrooms and spent free periods in the computer lab instead of hanging out with other people. I used to read books like “how to be popular” and prayed every night that I could be part of the “cool kids” in my school. I wanted to be liked and accepted because I thought it would make me happy.

When I was in 9th grade I really wanted a boyfriend. I kept picking myself apart, trying to figure out why no boy seemed to be interested in me. I was certain that once I finally had a boyfriend I would feel loved, accepted and good about myself.

Last year I thought that quitting university would throw my life upside down. Running around without a solid plan would not only make my life chaotic- what would other people think about me? How was I supposed to be happy without any security in my life?

Now I think that I need to be prettier, thinner, richer, cleverer and more successful to be happy. I need a university degree, security and a place to call home to be happy. I can only be happy once I have my life figured out.

The turning point

Now I think again.

I think again and I realize that I am enough and there are only 3 aspects I need to be happy.
One person: myself.
Only decision: Choose happiness every day.
One action: Live my life in alignment with who I truly am and do my best to feel good and do as much as I love as possible.

I was wrong in the past.

My parents loved me every day from the bottom of their heart, no matter how good my grades were. I wish I could tell my younger self this.

Those popular kids and bullies from school, now ask me for advice on how I do what I do. I wish I would have spent less time in school worrying about other people liking me and instead focus on my hobbies and interests instead.

Now I have a boyfriend, but his affection and love mean nothing unless I am at peace with myself and I love myself as best as I can each day.

No one else will ever make you happy unless you know how to do it yourself. It’s not selfish or self-centred– it is necessary. If you don’t put yourself, your dreams and your own happiness first you will never have happy relationships with others and no outside circumstance will ever give you the happiness that you desire.

When you are happy with yourself and your life, everything else will fall into place. Your relationships with others will be fulfilling, you will be successful in what you do and good things will show up in your life.

It’s actually quite simple because instead of trying to control everyone and everything around you, which is an impossible task, you simply start focusing on the only person you have control over: yourself. It’s not about perfection, it’s about trying. The first step on the path of seeking happiness is simply understanding that you are responsible for your own happiness and that you are capable of bringing so much love and magic into your life. I am not there yet, but I try my best. Take care of yourself, of your dreams and of the love you have to offer. The search for happiness begins with yourself.


These pictures were taken whilst we were watching the sunset at the beach in Cape Town. I want to share them because I was genuinely happy in that moment. These are authentic and unposed.


Pauline 7. January 2018 Reply

Hey Janine,

deine Worte sind mal wieder so so wahr und wunderschön geschrieben. So ehrlich und sympatisch und man kann sich einfach so gut in dich hinein fühlen, bzw. deine Gedanken mit den eigenen Erfahrungen zusammenfügen.
Mir ging es früher ähnlich wie dir und auch heute gibt es immer wieder Situationen in denen ich mir wünschte etwas in meinem Leben wäre anders und denke, ich wäre dann glücklich und erfüllt… Dann muss ich mich wieder darauf besinnen, dass das nicht der Grund für Glück, sondern die eigene Einstellung zum Leben ist.
Aber manchmal fällt mir das wirklich schwer. Vor allem wenn ich im grauen Deutschland in der Schule sitze und auf Instagram Bilder von anderen sehe, die am Strand liegen oder einen wunderschönen Ort erkunden und dann denke ich mir, dass auch ich das ganz bald erleben kann und das dann alles besser wird. Ich weiß auch, dass sicherlich einiges schöner sein wird, wenn ich frei bin und Reisen kann. Aber es hat auch immer Nachteile, ich bin weg von meiner Familie und meinen Freunden und habe weniger Sicherheit. Also muss auch das mich nicht glücklich machen.
Man muss sich einfach daran erinnern auf die schönen Dinge zu achten und diese Wertzuschätzen. Überall und immer!
Ich finde es richtig schön, dass du solche wichtigen Messages über deine Reichweite verbreitest und damit so sympatisch und ehrlich bist! Danke <3

Ich wünsche dir für 2018 nur das Beste!

Liebe Grüße
Pauline <3

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    Liebe Pauline, Du schreibst immer so tolle Kommentare- du hast echt ein Talent! “Vor allem wenn ich im grauen Deutschland in der Schule sitze und auf Instagram Bilder von anderen sehe, die am Strand liegen oder einen wunderschönen Ort erkunden”- das kenne ich nur zu gut, aber ist es echt alles nichts als eine “Scheinwelt”. Ich hatte es schon so oft, dass ich an den schönsten orten (Bali, Meldieven) am unglücklichsten war, aufgrund von persönlichen Problemen. Es kommt echt nur auf das Innere an und dann wir Alles im Außen auch plötzlich schön. Alles Liebe!

Reni 7. January 2018 Reply

Thank you for this post! I’ve been struggling a lot lately with gaining the approval of others and it was only recently that I realized what a silly thing that is to do. I’m slowly learning to let go of this insane control I wanna have over others and instead focus on healing and making myself better for the sake of my own mental health and well-being:)
Thanks for the encouragement!

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    The most important thing I learnt in 2017 was that you will never be able to control other people and outside circumstances. The only person you can change is yourself. All the best to you! xx

Alyssa 7. January 2018 Reply

i love this and this is exactly the advice that i needed. thank you so so much! keep up the good work! 💜

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    Thanks so much for the love girl! xx

Tim 7. January 2018 Reply

One more time you described what makes a lot of people insecure nowadays. It’s true that most of us look for external factors to feel secure and good internally. But as you have said it is all about finding inner peace, inner satisfaction without looking for external factors.

Keep up being as true as you are. This is really special. I know some people who totally lost themselves after getting a lot of attention.

P.S. actually I can’t imagine how nobody wanted to be your boyfriend 🤷‍♂️

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    hahah thank you so much for your sweet comment 🙂 It made me smile!

Eva 7. January 2018 Reply

Reading your post reminds me of my situation a lot and I recently figured out that being happy is a simple decision and not something which comes with a good mark or a college degree.

And as you say everyone is responsible for their own happiness and everyone is special. Even if you haven’t figured out life so far, you will figure it out and even if you sometimes think life will fall into pieces, later on you might find out that it was all good for a reason.

Someone said “Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece.” And that is true. Be yourself, follow your dream and try to start every day with a smile – it really changes the whole day!!

Keep doing your beautiful and personal posts. I love it and I think lots of people see theirselves in a similar situation 💙

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    “Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece.” THANKS SO MUCH for sharing this beautiful quote. I am so in love with quotes and this one fits the post so well. All the best to you! xx

Ina 7. January 2018 Reply

Liebe Janine,

danke für den tollen Post (mal wieder), der mir in vielerlei Hinsicht aus der Seele spricht…
ich habe mich in der Schule immer ähnlich gefühlt und jetzt wo das Ende meines Studiums ansteht, habe ich viele Zweifel wie es für mich weitergehen soll. Auch wenn ich das Ganze eher als eine tolle Chance betrachten sollte..
Ich hoffe, Du kannst mich bei einer Frage unterstützen: Ich plane einen ca. vierwöchigen Aufenthalt in Südafrika dieses Frühjahr und wollte dich als “Expertin” fragen, ob du denkst, dass ich das alleine im Rahmen einer Backpackung-Reise durchziehen könnte oder meinst du es ist zu gefährlich?

Liebe Grüße,

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    Liebe Ina,
    Danke für deinen Kommentar 🙂
    WO genau in Südafrika wolltest du denn hin? Ich denke, dass ist auf jeden Fall möglich. In Kapstadt ist es gar kein Problem. Informiere dich vorher einfach ein bisschen, aber sonst sollte deinem Vorhaben nichts im Weg stehen <3

Marlene 7. January 2018 Reply

Hi! These words are so tru, but so hard too. I am seventeen years old and I know exactly what you mean. We want to feel loved and look for other people instead of loving ourselves…
Thank you for this real blogpost 🙂

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    Thank you so much, I am happy you liked the post! x

Carolina R 8. January 2018 Reply

Hey Janine, thank you for this post. I have exactly the same thought that you just put into words and I was struggling to write it.

Greatings from Argentina! ❤❤❤

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    Lots of love to you Carolina! 🙂 x

Amelie tahiti 8. January 2018 Reply

I am so proud of you beautiful ! You are so right! I always am SO unhappy when I’m not aligned or limiting my potential. I want to be free and do 100% what i like every single day.
I hope we can meet this year and I’ll give you a big hug ! you got this and can’t wait to see what 2018 got in store for both of us! xoxo

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    I agree with you so so much. It would be so amazing to meet you in 2018! Lots of love xx

Diana 9. January 2018 Reply

Liebes, ich verstehe dich so gut. Vor allem was den Druck angeht, den man sich selbst macht. Was denken andere Leute, die man kennt von einem … Ganz schlimm! Aber meine Mum sagte diesbezüglich mal etwas, an das ich mich seitdem immer erinnere, wenn ich merke, dass ich mic wieder deshalb fertig mache:
„Die anderen kochen auch nur mit Wasser.“
Aber genauso ist es.

Drücke dich :3 🙂

    Janine Jahnke 9. January 2018 Reply

    „Die anderen kochen auch nur mit Wasser”- das liebe ich! Danke für den tollen Kommentar 🙂

Emmanuella 31. January 2018 Reply

“The search for happiness begins with yourself.” – I really needed to hear this today. Thanks so much! <3

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