Tell Me About Your Experience in the Last City You Visited

Cannot remember where I took this photo:) I’m guessing somewhere in Austria, in 2016?

I was reflecting on the happiest nations in the world the other day. I’ve never visited Denmark, but I’ve heard many great things about the country. And according to recent data, Denmark is one of the happiest nations in the world. Congratulations, Denmark!

Of course, I would like to live in the happiest nation in the world too, why wouldn’t I? Because it is easy for me to think that living in the happiest country means I will be happy too. But then, I remembered a story I had read somewhere in the last couple of years about happiness. Unfortunately, again, I do not remember where I read it. This pains me because I really like supporting what I write with references. Anyway, I will try to tell the story here as much as I can remember:

A young traveler leaves Village A and starts walking towards village B. On his way, he meets an old man. The young traveler greets the old man, and stops to ask him:

“Are you coming from Village B?”

“Yes,” the old man replies.

“I’ve just left Village A, and I’m on my way to Village B. I was wondering if you could tell me how people are like in Village B?”

“Oh, I can tell you. But before that, I’m curious to know how your experience has been in Village A.” replies the old man.

“Terrible! People are awful there. I was not happy at all. That’s why I decided to leave. Village A is not for me,” says the young traveler.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” says the old man. “I’m afraid Village B is pretty much the same. You may have similar experiences in Village B. Have a safe trip”. And the old man continues on his way.

Another day, a similar scenario happens. Another traveler leaving Village A meets the same old man. After the initial greetings, the young man asks:

“Are you coming from Village B?”

“Yes,” the old man replies.

“I’ve just left Village A, and I’m on my way to Village B. I was wondering if you could tell me how people are like in Village B?”

“Oh, I can tell you. But before that, I’m curious to know how your experience has been in Village A.” replies the old man.

“Amazing! I had such a great time in Village A. People were so friendly. I did not want to leave at all,” says the young man.

“I’m happy to hear that,” says the old man. “I think Village B is pretty much the same. I believe you will have a great time in Village B, too. Have a safe trip”. And the old man continues on his way.

(Please, please, do let me know if you know where I can find this beautiful story. I definitely need to reread it.)

We may think we are unhappy living in a certain city or working at a certain workplace due to external factors (sometimes we think we have the luxury to do so even when we live in a safe and abundant environment, don’t we?). And we may be tempted to think that if we move to that other city, or to that other company, we can be happier. It is quite normal to think that way because we are in a continuous search to improve the quality of our lives. But I think people who manage to define their core values and live by those values, also manage to flourish wherever they find themselves. Because their happiness does not depend on external factors.

More on core values in another article:)

Dear Reader, did you find this article useful? If yes, I’d really appreciate it if you could share the link with your network. Thank you:)

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