“Whether here or elsewhere, whether “on your own” or with a professional, whether with clergy or a therapist, keep on the path, take the next step, and then the next. One day, one step at a time, you will begin to see life differently, yourself differently, and others differently.” – Ken Wert
Today, I am thrilled to present another interview to you!
This is the next interview, featuring Ken Wert of Meant To Be Happy. If you wish to read up on previous interviews with Bryan Thompson and Tess Marshall, please click here.
Ken has recently been named the ‘Best Personal Development Blogger of 2011′ by the readers ofChange Your Thoughts, and so I felt it appropriate to interview him.
I am also honoured to have him here as he is an incredible gentleman and a kind soul. The blogging world is better off with him in it.
I hope you enjoy Ken’s thoughtful responses.
Stu: Why did you decide to build a blog, and why focus your efforts in the personal development niche?
Ken: First of all, I want to thank you for this opportunity to be interviewed by one of my favorite people online.
I guess in a lot of ways, it’s an extension of who I am. I love ideas. They matter. They have consequences in our lives. I love talking about great ideas and teaching them and wrestling with them in my own life.
So I guess what I’m saying is that blogging about happiness and character and personal growth is what I’m passionate about. I work at it and read the literature and teach it and talk about it in other settings. So in some ways, starting a personal development blog was an almost inevitable next step.
I also have an entrepreneurial spirit buried somewhere inside. I wanted to create something I could get excited about, that would be meaningful and that could, at least eventually, generate some extra income for my family. That, coupled with my love of writing, made a blog a seeming no-brainer.
Could you explain some of the inspiration behind ‘Meant To Be Happy’, and why you decided to use this theme as your blog?
Certainly. It’s as simple as truly believing people have great stores of untapped potential waiting to be discovered. I believe there are countless people living with varying degrees of unhappiness. That saddens me. But I’ve found there are basic principles that are the building blocks of happiness. It’s something I’ve very literally studied for most of my life.
Also, to tell the truth, after a keyword search indicating millions of people searching for happiness every day and believing I’ve been blessed with some answers that would help that search, I thought the topic and I would make a nice match.
What would you say is the most important aspect of blogging?
I’m still new to the game here, so others would be much better qualified to answer this question. But it seems to me that if you don’t write content anyone else cares to read, it doesn’t matter how much SEO you know or how amazing your site looks, or how tantalizing your post titles are. It just won’t attract much long-term attention. I also think that it’s not enough to be a good writer. You also have to have something of substance to write well about.
In other words, bad ideas will be an obstacle to great writing and bad writing will be an obstacle to great ideas. Both good ideas and good writing have to find some compatible blend for success.
Congratulations on being voted the No. 1 Best Personal Development Blog of 2011! Looking to 2012, do you have any future goals to build on your huge success?
Thanks, Stu. That means a lot to me. I have 4 blogging goals for 2012 (for now, anyway – I’m always open to adjusting them as I go):
1. Guest post as often as I can produce additional content (time constraints are real obstacles these days).
2. I just launched the first edition of my newsletter, “Meant to be.” I’ll continue to tweak it into something I hope will be an anticipated part of my subscribers’ lives and entice new readers to sign up as well.
3. I’m currently soliciting articles from bloggers on happiness for an ebook titled, Perspectives on Happiness to compile and start selling in 2012. I have a longer-term goal as well, that within 5 years, I’ll be doing this gig full-time.
4. I also hope to have opportunities to collaborate with others on a variety of projects. I’m really enjoying connecting with some pretty amazing people online.
There is one other goal I’m considering. I’ve done a lot of public speaking in other contexts and enjoy it. It would be pretty cool to do it in the personal development arena as well.
If you were to speak with someone completely new to personal development and self-help, how would you define happiness? For me, the kind of happiness I speak of at Meant to be Happy is a state of being, rather than a fleeting emotion.
It’s the sense that life is good, that I like who I am, that there is meaning to my life and that I matter. It’s a state that lasts through periods of pain and difficulty too. It’s the natural result of the way I live and think and interpret life. It’s based on my fundamental beliefs and attitudes and perceptions about myself and others.
So happiness isn’t simply the result of having lots of fun or excitement. Those feelings end when the event that produced them ends. Rather, happiness is an inner sense of fulfilment or joy that permeates life whether or not external circumstances are just what you want them to be.
You say in your ‘About Me’ profile that you decided to ‘scratch the teaching itch’ and become a teacher in 2000. What made you reach that decision?
I was a 10-year veteran in another field working with abused children. I was married with a baby girl. Our little family was starting to grow. I knew that if I didn’t make the career change then, it would likely never happen. So I jumped at it!
If you could do one thing right now to improve your life, anything at all, what would it be?
That’s a good question, Stu. I must say that my life is pretty good. I eat well and work out regularly. I’m in good health. I love my family and they love me. I have a career I love. I think that in the balance, if I may say so, I’m a pretty decent guy as well. I have a rich spiritual and religious life and am grateful for more than I have time or space here to mention. I even have a new passion as a blogger! In a lot of different ways, my life feels deeply meaningful and significant. And really, I’m just a happy camper!
So I guess the one thing that would most improve my life would be to make a good living off blogging so I could do it fulltime. I love teaching passionately, but I’m afraid I’ve found a deeper love.
If you had 20 seconds to say whatever you wanted, and the whole world was listening, what would you say?
Character matters. Who you are at the very core of how you live your life, how you treat others, your integrity to universal principles of human decency matter. There is little in life more important than who you are and become deep inside. So go live a life of kindness and love and compassion and courage. Be humble and forgiving, grateful and honest and good. And in the end, you’ll be well on your way to a life of deep and abiding happiness as well.
Thank you for your time and insights Ken.