Purple and Blue: Let's Talk About Fake Happiness / How Is Trying To Be Happy Making Us Miserable?

Before I get to the subject of this post (i.e get to some serious writing), I'll say a few words about the location and the casual outfit styling I'll also be sharing. The outfit I'm presenting today is dominated by two colours: purple and blue. I'm wearing a vintage striped sweater, topped with a navy statement sleeve blouse and a pair of jeans. Thick sweaters can be tricky to layer so I was a bit surprised this combo worked out so well. It was certainly a very comfy outfit. Who says you can't look cute while hiking, right? These photographs were taken not too long ago, during one of my typical weekend trips. I always say that weekends are the perfect time to get out in the open and/or spend some time in the nature. The location for these photographs is another of my happy places, a hill named Planinica (literally translated it means a small mountain). Being one of the hills that surrounds Mostar city, Planinica often serves as a hiking destination for me. Speaking of happy places, today I want to talk about happiness.  
Today I want to talk about an interesting topic: the pursuit of happiness. It's everywhere around us, this idea that happiness is something we can earn, buy or trade. The problem with this idea is that it doesn't work at all. Still, the smiling face is the one that sells. I feel that it sometimes leaves us with impression that we need to try to achieve happiness at all times and with every means. Is that really a good idea? Can trying to be happy can have the opposite effect?


Much has been said about the value of positive thinking. While I do agree that the ability to think in a positive way is and can be a skill of utmost importance, especially in this day and time, as with most things there is a danger of taking it too far.  I’m not in favour of forced positive thinking. Not at all. I feel that these days there is this massive pressure to be happy all the time.  We are told we should be able to rise over everything. It’s not only unrealistic but also more than a bit insane. This obsession with happiness in my view only makes people unhappy. There is such a thing as trying too hard. I remember reading somewhere that we have never had so many happiness books and manuals published and so many deeply unhappy people. Not to criticize self-books as such, but clearly they are not enough.


What is enough? Well, that’s a complex questions, and there is no such thing as one size fits all. Everyone must find what makes them happy- and when they do, they need to realize it’s something that is subject to change. I’ve been thinking about this subject for the last few days. I might not be able to say what is enough to be happy, but I can tell you what it is not enough. It is not enough to wish for something for it to become true. It is not enough to keep convincing ourselves that everything is fine when it isn’t. It’s not enough to expect to be perfectly happy all the time. It’s rather childish, really. Being frustrated at ourselves and the world because our visualizations aren’t becoming reality and the things aren’t going as planned. Things almost never go as planned, and even when they do, when we get exactly what we wanted and dreamed for, we still can end up unhappy.

 I sometimes wonder who come up with this idea of being super hyped, enthusiastic and energetic all the time in the first place. What was wrong with understanding that humans are complex beings who experience a whole array of emotions? When has sadness become a taboo topic, an enemy of our modern society? Yes, today we have some opportunities that we didn’t have in the past. Yes, we can connect with others through social media and so on. However, technology really doesn’t make a profound difference when it comes to our happiness. It’s still very much a personal pursuit and no button or gadget can fight this one for us.


Let’s take, for example, our relationship with other people. Let’s say you have one person you’re deeply connected with. It might be your mother, a friend, a relative or a love interest. When somethings good happens to that person, you’ll be over the moon but when something bad happens to them, you’ll be heart-broken. You can have the one without the other, you either care about the person or you don’t. If you care, than you’ll be emphatic and share (to the degree at least) that person’s emotions. When we look at this example, we see that happiness and sadness can be two sides of the same coin. Similarly, many words are today portrayed as negative, and we tend to forget that words achieve their meaning only within the context. In other words, you can have the dictionary definition but until you string a sentence together, you’re not really saying anything.


I find this modern paranoia of every kind of negative feeling ultimately destructive. It’s not good to live in fear of anything, negative feelings included.  Sometimes being unhappy is not only a learning experience, but one that is absolutely necessary. Trying to suppress the blues at every cost can end up costing us dearly. Our emotions can tell us so many things about ourselves. In addition, we cannot really suppress them fully- not unless we want to turn into robots. Sometimes unhappiness can tell us more about ourselves than any happiness ever could. Look at it this way, if you were perfectly happy with where you were, then you wouldn’t be really motivated to work on yourself, would you?


Optimism has clear advantages. As somebody said, being an optimist is simply more fun. People often perceive me as a very optimistic person. I'm not sure what to make of that. The older I get I tend to see both the advantages and disadvantages of pretty much everything. I think I'm neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I do see how being an optimist is more fun. It really is. However, being overly optimistic can cause us a number of problems. Like with everything in life, it’s all about finding balance. I’m all for optimism, but I aspire towards developing a realistic kind of optimism. 

What do you think about this subject? What is more important, being happy or being authentic? Is sadness really that terrible? Have you ever learned something from those emotions that are often deemed negative? I know I have. Moreover, I learned a great deal more than from those so called 'positive' ones. I feel like there are so many emotions that carry a stigma of being negative, that we forget that any emotion can make sense in certain circumstances. We shouldn't live in fear of being unhappy. You can't force happiness. Not really. Check out this article for a scientific explanation of difference between pleasure and happiness. They're really not the same thing. You can buy pleasure but you can't buy happiness. So, we might as well relax and try to get to know ourselves. Because getting to know ourselves is where it all starts. Thank you for reading. Your comments are always appreciated. 


  1. Such a great subject to debate. And I agree to a point. I think we have a lot more control than what we sometimes think, and part of being positive is making sure the relationships we are in are beneficial for us.
    I think it's also just as important to be sad for the right occasions and events. Because you can't be happy with nothing to compare it to.
    I love this combination of colors, Ivana!!

    1. that's so true, positive relationships are so important.

  2. I really like purple and blue together! :) I think it's true, we often feel everyone else is happy all the time, but noone is happy all the time - there are reasons we feel differently, like you said, it's an indicator we need to change something! :)

    Hope that you are having a nice week and a lovely weekend ahead of you :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

  3. Great combo Ivana. I'm not sure I've done a whole lot of blue and purple and I am inspired. Gorgeous sleeves too. I think happiness is a state of mind and should not be forced. A ton of people pretend to be happy whereas deep down, they are very sad. I say keep it real, life is not meant to be a flat line, mountains will keep us happy and when we go through valleys, those that make us sad.


  4. Wow this cardigan is so so amazing - this long and original sleeves - love it
    I think no one is happy all the time - it's impossible - the worst think is that modern world and culture surrounded us push us to be like this- everywhere we can see " happy people in their happy words and lives" but it's fiction. This world and culture forget that we are human being- we have a law to have worse days and periods in our life- we have a law to be sad if we feel it inside and it's nothing wrong with it. I hope soon world will change in this point and instead of plastic, ever happy culture we will se real people, real life and real emotions - Have a wonderful weekend dear xx

  5. what a thoughtful post, Ivana! the purple and blue color go so well together. I really love the cardigan! x
    have a lovely day!

  6. While it would be nice to be happy all the time, it's just not realistic or possible. I've been giving this a lot of thought recently and I think it's more important to be true to yourself and what you're feeling at any time than to put on a facade and pretend that everything is okay even when it isn't because it will only crumble in time. That article is very enlightening. Thanks for sharing Ivana!

    1. I couldn't agree more. People always ask me how I manage to be so happy all the time, but the truth is that I'm often happy because I allow myself time to be unhappy. Nothing can be forced.

  7. I love your outfit! you look amazing!

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  9. i love the combination and you look stunning in it dear.


  10. Mamma mia Ivana hai toccato un argomento davvero difficile. Certo non tutti possiamo essere felici però vediamola anche da un altro punto di vista: ci sono quelli che si lamentano sempre della propria infelicità quando ci sono persone che soffrono davvero. Io non posso dire di essere sempre felice ma di sicuro ogni volta che mi sento infelice penso sempre che c'è qualcuno che sta peggio di me e che per rispetto nei confronti di quelle persone devo misurare il mio grado di infelicità.
    Questo non vuol dire che ho sempre il sorriso in faccia, nella mia vita ho avuto la mia buona dose di sfortune,ma oggi mi sento di essere contenta delle cose che ho :-)
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger

    1. Grazie Selvaggia. Nessun senta felice in ogni momento...per essere contenti con la nostra vita e' importante ricordare questo.

  11. I welcome you cordially! fantastic entry, very interesting. he was read it nice and fast. on your blog there are great themes, very inspiring. I also like photos, great! in a word - amazing. in free time I invite you to me :)
    Greetings from Poland !

  12. I totally understand what you mean with "fake happiness". I also think we should allow ourselves to feel any emotions without judging them because that is part of life.
    Wonderful outfit!


  13. Biti srećan na silu je apsolutno nemoguća misija - time se neretko beži od problema umesto da mu se pristupi radi rešavanja istog i onda se jednostavno vrtimo u krug. Pod pritiskom smo da uvek izgledamo srećno da bi nas drugi ljudi doživeli kao normale i to je apsolutno besmisleno. Ljudski je biti nesrećan, tužan, besan, ljut, sreća nije jedino osećanje i svako treba izbaciti iz sebe da bi se stiglo na neko bolje mesto. Život je više od jednodimenzionalnog shvatanja istog. Treba težiti sreći, ali ne da bismo impresionirali druge, da bismo se nekome dokazali i nikako ne da bismo zamaskirali probleme koje zapravo imamo. Oni neće jednostavno nestati. :)


    1. Točno tako, treba težiti sreći, ali ne pretjerivati i shvatiti da sve more ići svojim tokom.

  14. I totallu get what you are trying to say and agree with you! Grat post!


  15. Great one.

  16. Great post, as humans, we should allowed our self some emotions and not fake it.
    I love your outfit combination too.

  17. The sleeves on that top are beautiful and you look fab, also the pictures look great darling!


  18. You are so right, it is much more important to be authentic than to feign happiness. I am an optimistic person, but even I can be sad sometimes ;-) Very cute Outfit, Ivana! Love your sweater and your purple bag.
    xxxxx Nadine

  19. questo cardigan è fantastico!

  20. Such an important topic to discuss about, Ivanna. And lately I feel like there are a lot of products and services that are trying to say us that is not okay to be happy, at the end of the day difficult times are also necessary in order to appreciate and value the things we have and to build a better version of ourselves day by day. Of course happiness is the ideal mood, but it is necessary and I'd say even HEALTHIER to face hardness.

    PS: I adore the illustrations mixed up with real photographies, you're a genius! :D


    1. thank you Pablo. I do agree, it's often healthier to face hardships. Sadness and happiness are a bit like yin and yang - both need to be in balance.

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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