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Rebel Against Perfectionism With Happy Points: A Journey To Genuine Bliss And Authentic Living – Interview With Martina Iven

Martina Iven is a life coach, communications strategist, and the founder of Happy Points, a Swedish company. Her mission is to help people rebel against perfectionism and break free from the pressure to achieve and perform constantly. This mission arises from her own transformative journey and personal story, which has led her to create a powerful coaching method. This method is designed to help others lead their lives based on what brings genuine bliss instead of what may look good on paper.

Image photo of Martina Iven

Martina Iven, Life Coach & Founder


Tell us about a pivotal moment that brought you to where you are today.


Some would say that I had it all. And on paper, I probably had—family, house, summerhouse, car, excellent economy, friends, and a dream job. Yes, I had everything I could ever ask for. However, I couldn't eliminate the sensation that something wasn't quite right.


"I put all my effort into trying to be a "good girl." I intensely wanted to please everyone and fit into a specific mold. I was trapped in a mindset of prioritizing duty above all else and believing my value was only tied to my professional achievements.


The situation was unsustainable for years. I was constantly stressed, slept poorly, and had problems with dizziness. I felt like I wasn't good enough at home or work. I hardly saw my friends and never had time for myself.


But the pivotal moment was when I started to forget essential things, such as picking up the kids from preschool. This hit me hard because I promised never to let that happen when I was a child. The situation summarized everything that felt wrong. I realized that my hunt for perfection and the pressure of achieving and performing had made me betray myself and my values. That's when I decided!


I quit my job without knowing what to do next. I only knew that I wanted to take control of my life and focus on what makes me happy instead of what is expected of me.  


What inspired you to start Happy Points, and what is the mission or vision behind your business?


"Happy Points" was coined in 2012 for my blog of the same name. I was overworked and constantly stressed.


The blog was intended to remind me that life isn't all about work and achievement. I wanted to document and write about all the happy moments in my life, big or small.


The blog ran out of steam after a year. I worked too much, ironically, and partly because it added another layer of stress, trying to create all those happy moments outside of work. 


However, I have never really been able to let go of the term Happy Points. I have had the feeling that I could reuse it somehow. Someday. 


When I quit my job, I started seeing a coach. Together with her, I was finally able to give myself space and begin to listen to myself. I could identify my dreams and re-discover my strengths and true values. 


It didn't take long before all the pieces fell into place, and I felt reborn when I realized I wanted to be a life coach. I would start my own company, and there was no other name more suitable for that company than Happy Points. 


But today, Happy Points isn't about quantity and trying to fit in as much fun as possible outside of work. I help my clients identify their true Happy Points so they can lead their lives based on what provides genuine bliss instead of what looks good on paper. I want to help everyone who wants to rebel against perfectionism and break free from the pressure of having to achieve and perform. I want to help them live their authentic lives.  

Image photo of Martina Iven

Why is it so important to live an authentic life?


"Otherwise, you will continually experience the sensation that something is amiss, which can be quite unsettling."

Sometimes, you can have everything you ever wanted, yet still feel like you have nothing. You might know a lot of people, but still feel lonely and disconnected. You're constantly putting work before your family, even though all you want is to be with them. Or maybe you're in a marriage based on practicality rather than love.


If you experience that feeling for an extended period, it can lead to unhappiness and even illness.


To live authentically means that you are guided by your true values to make sure you lead your life based on what provides genuine bliss. Your true values are what I call Happy Points. Stop caring about perfection, prestige, or the pressure to achieve and perform. Stop caring about other people's opinions. Follow your heart and dare to be yourself.


Living an authentic life means no regrets at its end.


Can you elaborate on the key features and services offered at Happy Points? What sets it apart from other similar platforms?


I offer two different services. First up is "REBELLIOUS," an exclusive and tailored coaching program for anyone who wants a dedicated partner to help you reach your goals. If you are determined to rebel against perfectionism and break free from the pressure of achieving and performing, “The program is the correct one.”


When you sign up for the rebellious program, you sign up for 10 x 1:1 coaching sessions. The program is based on the Happy Points method, which means you explore and identify your true Happy Points, values, and strengths. You will then use your Happy Points to create the right circumstances in life to reach your goal and nourish your happiness and well-being.  


In addition, I also provide a membership program called "Hearts of happy points," which is a community for everyone who wants to create more space for personal development in their life. As a member, you can access an array of exercises, challenges, tools, inspiration, and motivation. You will also be offered opportunities to join group coaching and reflect with other members.


What sets Happy Points apart from similar services is that Happy Points is not only a concept and a method for my coaching business. I aim to create a movement and a force for change that I want to see more of in society. We live in a tough society with a focus on perfection, prestige, and pressure to achieve and perform. There are too many pointers and opinions on how things should be. Together with my clients and members, I want to contribute to a kinder society where we celebrate differences and the fact that we are human beings. 


How is your life today compared to earlier? 


Today, I have control over my life. I don't let myself be swayed by other people's opinions on how I should be and what I should do. I make conscious decisions daily to create the right circumstances for my happiness and well-being to flourish. I have found my Happy Points that I make sure to live by. They guide me in every decision and situation. It is not always easy to have the courage to be true to oneself, but the liberation that comes with it is unparalleled.


So, who are you when you are your true self?


Hmm, great question! My husband and kids think that I am a bit crazy. And you know what? I like it! It's a good acknowledgment that I show all sides of my personality.


I am full of life, playful, and have a great imagination. I love singing, dancing, and acting. I enjoy all creative work, such as writing, drawing, painting, decorating, choreographing, and creating tailored exercises for my clients. I dream of writing books and playing a superhero in an action movie.


I believe that conversations are one of life's most beautiful things. Conversations to mediate, reconcile, forgive, and understand. I can have conversations for hours and enjoy listening to others converse. I always enjoy being inspired and learning from others. 


Even though I'm nowadays happy by default, I still feel all feelings. I play on the whole emotional register occasionally and will never again put on a mask in fear of what others might say. 


I am strong and weak. Brave and scared. Confident and insecure. I need to improve at sewing, math, and opening my mail. I fear that all technical devices will explode if I accidentally push the wrong button. I make many mistakes, and I am far from perfect. The acceptance of that makes me happy and balanced. 


What are the most essential points you want readers to remember from this article?


I want everyone to lead their life based on what gives them true bliss instead of what looks good on paper. Feel free to borrow my motto in life: Happy Points instead of merit points.


"If you need any assistance, you now know where to find it."
Image photo of Martina Iven

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

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