The Interview: Mo Seetubtim, founder of The Happiness Planner

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  1. We love our Happiness Planners here at LMB. How did the idea come about and why should people be incorporating one into their daily lives?


I had an inspirational blog, – which I started a few years ago. In 2015, it reached a point where my articles were getting published on The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Addicted2Success and I received a lot of emails from my readers everyday saying how inspirational my blog was to them. So I decided to ask my readers when they subscribed to my mailing list, “If I could write about one thing that makes your day, what should I write about?”. A lot of them replied and said they wanted to learn about how they could be more positive and happier. So I thought… oh there are a lot of books out there on this topic. However, it is not something that you can magically change overnight. It’s something you have to practice over and over until your mind is trained. I tried to think of an idea for something that could be integrated into people’s lives and could help them train their mind and shift their focus to the positives – something that people are proud of to carry and use. So I gave birth to the idea of The Happiness Planner – a beautiful journal/planner that is inspiring and can help people change the way they look at things and the way they live their lives to be more positive and filled with passion and joy.


  1. Being in your twenties and trying to figure out the direction of your life can be a bit overwhelming at times. Do you have any tips for managing stress and planning for the future?


I remember those days when we try to figure out who we are and what we should do with our lives. I think we need to realize that everything will be okay. We can try different things, make mistakes, and move on. It’s not that bad. Mistakes actually teach us a lot. If you can see mistakes and failures as valuable experiences, you can reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that you may have about the future a lot.


As for planning for the future, what I find useful is making a list of things you want to achieve from the top down – from in 20 years’ time, to in 10 years’ time, in 5 years’ time, and to one year’s time. This can help you streamline your action plans and list down your bucket list. I have to say that everything I ever dreamed of achieving – I wrote those things down – and I am slowly ticking them off one by one. It’s great to re-write this list every year and re-visit it often in order to keep ourselves inspired and motivated.


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  1. Your blog, Brandmentalist is full of inspiration, we love it! We found the post on ’10 reasons why you should move to another city’ very accurate for us here in London. What other cities should we add to our list to visit?


If you love London, I think you’d love Melbourne. There are two main cities in Australia that I absolutely love – Sydney and Melbourne. Melbourne is definitely a hidden gem in the world. It’s very safe, has a great diverse food scene (as influenced by European and Asian cuisines), and an amazing music scene!


Two other cities I’d add are Tokyo and Bangkok.


Tokyo is like New York City of Asia. If you love Japanese food, you will fall in love with Tokyo. There are small little Japanese restaurants everywhere and the food is amazing. People are really nice – the nicest, politest, most honest people on earth. Would you believe that if you dropped a £50 note, someone would hand it over at the police station? You could leave your handbag at the bar and go to the bathroom, when you come back it’d still be there! It’s crazy how honest Japanese people are. You see five-year-old kids walking home from school on their own.


Bangkok is my hometown. If you love Thai food, you have to visit Bangkok. Cheap, yummy street food and fresh juices. There’s lots of shops and massages for only £8 an hour! There are always new cool markets and speakeasy bars to discover. For westerners, I think Bangkok is intriguing. It has a lot of characters. It is also an amazing getaway to Asia. You can fly to anywhere else in Asia for £80 and you’ll get there in two hours. It’s very cosmopolitan and urban. You can also escape to the beach or the mountain if you want to. Your pounds also go very far here – for under £ 1,000 a month, you can live comfortably – something you could never do in London.


  1. On your website it says you grew up reading a lot of self-help books. For those who aren’t familiar with this genre, what’s a good one to start with?


I love Stephen R. Covey’s book – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Andrew Matthews’ Happiness books – very easy to read, thought provoking, and inspiring. I also love psychology textbooks. Please also check out Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Louise Hay, Brene Brown, and Elizabeth Gilbert’s books. Mark Manson’s blog and Raptitude blog are also very inspiring.


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  1. We love sharing new beauty products with our members. What does your beauty routine consist of?


I am actually quite low maintenance. I use Cetaphil facial cleanser. For moisturiser/serum, I like Etude’s collagen cream and Estee Lauder’s night repair serum. For eye cream, I like La Prairie and the Bodyshop’s Vitamin C eye roll-on. I try to wash my face before working out and right after the gym session. Eating an apple a day can also help clear your skin.


  1.  How did you go about turning your passion into a business and how would you recommend someone else do the same?


When I was in high school, a DJ friend said to me “If you can turn your passion into a career, you’ll never have to feel like you have a work a day in your life.” Since then I had been intentional about this – finding what true passions were and finding ways to turn my passion into a career. I believe that we all have several interests and passions. It can be hard to determine which passion of ours we should turn into a career. I tried all of them. I tried teaching the piano, promoting music events/festivals, working in an advertising agency, and joining a tech start-up. I think the process of trial and error is necessary for us to learn about ourselves, to gain momentum and confidence in life, and to grow as an adult. Although, I am doing something different now, I did learn a lot in those jobs and what I learned has been very helpful to me in my current venture, The Happiness Planner.


My advice is follow your intuition. I tried turning all of my passions into a career – one by one. There was a “but” in all of them until I found The Happiness Planner. All of the projects started off with excitement, energy, and passion. But then there were always obstacles which led me to trying something different. You will face this. Just go along with it. Don’t force life. Follow the path that life forces you to go. At the time, it may feel like rejection and disappointment. But the truth is every rejection and disappointment points you to a different direction in life. Make sure that that different direction in life is something that you’re passionate about and that it aligns with your core values. When things don’t work out with one passion, you are about to get one step closer to another passion which could turn out to be your dream job and your business. You have to really listen to your heart and your intuition in this. When you’ve found that job, you will wake up everyday feeling inspired and then you have found the meaning of life.


  1. And finally, this month is the Wanderlust Edit here at LMB. What does the term ‘wanderlust’ mean to you?


Wanderlust means you keep a curious mind. You’re always wondering and wandering, wanting to learn more and experiencing new things. When you have the wanderlust in you, you feel like life is an adventure!



For more advice on how to live a happier life, visit Mo’s blog here. We’d love to know what you’ve taken away from Mo’s advice – we’ll be making Tokyo and Bangkok next on our list of places to visit!