By Elin Jarlstrom
Meningen med hela skiten
I’m reading a new book.
It written by a Swedish women called Nina Åkestam.
Although she’s a writer and an advertising researcher,
it’s the first book I’ve bought in over a year that won’t tell me how to write an ad.
This book is teaching me something even more important.
The answer to why we do the things we do.
Like reading books on how to write ads.
She calls it ‘Meningen med hela skiten’
That’s Swedish for ‘The meaning of all this shit.’
We often get asked to ask ourselves;
Who are you?
What do you want with your life?
Why are you here?
It’s now less than three months left of this course.
And these questions are still floating around in my head.
In the book, Nina explains some of the tools she used to find her answers.
Even though I’m just half way though it, one of her exercises already helped me a lot.
I’ve got a feeling I’m not the only one who’s still looking for answers.
So I though I’d share.
She calls it, The 85 year old.
‘Find a calm place and think about who you’d like to be when your 85.
Write down your thoughts as single words or as a story. What do you look like? Where are you? How’s the weather? Who are the people you have around you? What sort of stories are you telling about your life? Take your time and try to be as concrete as possible. The most important thing is that you feel good with the picture you see in front of you.
When you’ve filled your paper, then think again. What can you do now, today, to increase the changes to become the 85 year old that you want to be? Do you need an education? A job? Do you need more or less money? Do you need to travel or move? Do you need more time for some things and less time for other things? Take your time and write them down.
This is your yardstick. And the only thing that is important. The point is that, now, it’s almost impossible not to look at your life and realise that you worry about at least 23 things that are completely rubbish.Your inner granny or old man don’t give a shit about these things. They couldn’t care less. So, why should you?
Try to focus on the things you know they would care about. The things that one day will be become great stories to tell.’
It’s important to remind ourselves why we do the things we do.
Especially when we’re under pressure and start questioning ourselves.
It’s so easy to worry about the wrong things and neglect the things that actually matters in end.
So I recommend you to give it go.
Turn to the 85 year old you.
They’ll know the stories you’d want to tell.