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Why Were People Happıer ın the Past?

Imagine embarking on a journey back in time, finding yourself 200 years ago. As a monarch, you possess all the wealth and power imaginable, yet you lack many of the conveniences a modern-day individual takes for granted. Your riches and royal title could not, in those times, grant you the convenience of traveling by bus or the comfort of flying in an airplane. Today, thanks to modern advancements, the concepts of time and space are redefined at an astonishing pace. Traveling from one city to another, or to a different country, can now be accomplished in just a few hours.

For instance, a journey from Istanbul to New York, which is merely an 11-hour flight today, would have been an arduous, time-consuming process 200 years ago in the 1800s. This journey would involve traveling by horse-drawn carriages to Western Europe, then crossing the Atlantic Ocean by sailing ship, and finally traversing the American continent westward on horseback or by wagon. This trip could take months or even more than a year, depending on conditions.

200 years ago, there were no such things as electricity, refrigerators, many medicines, cars, or airplanes. So, despite all these absences, why did people feel happier?

According to reports by the World Health Organization, the number of people experiencing depression is increasing day by day, reaching significant levels compared to the previous century. However, some experts suggest that part of this increase may be due to previously inadequate diagnostic practices.

Yet, when we look back at the environment of our childhood, we might realize that people were not as happy as they used to be. It’s insufficient to attribute this merely to nostalgia. From my own experiences, I remember; many days of the week, either our neighbors would visit us, or we would visit them. Social connections provided opportunities for sharing burdens, helping each other, and standing together during tough times.

I conducted a brief research on why people might have been happier in the past and identified several factors. Let’s explore these factors together and draw personal lessons:

A) Expectations and Comparison

Social media and other communication channels allow people to constantly observe others’ lives and make comparisons with their own. This habit of constant comparison can increase feelings of personal dissatisfaction and lead people to view their own lives in a negative light. In the past, people’s comparisons were limited to their communities or immediate surroundings, keeping expectations realistic and attainable.

Reasons why comparisons can be harmful include:

  • Unrealistic Expectations: Content shared on social media often reflects people’s best moments, achievements, or idealized lifestyles, leading to unrealistic expectations and disappointment when confronted with our own realities.
  • Emotional Burden: Constantly comparing ourselves to others can trigger negative emotional states like jealousy, feelings of inadequacy, and lower self-esteem.
  • Diminished Capacity to Live in the Moment: Being in the habit of continually evaluating our lives against others’ can prevent us from enjoying the present and celebrating our own achievements and happiness.
  • Obstacle to Personal Growth: Comparisons can distract from focusing on our values, goals, and interests, negatively affecting personal development and self-actualization.

B) Simplicity and Complexity

In the past, people engaged in clear and tangible tasks for daily survival; activities like farming, day-to-day chores, and securing shelter formed the basis of their struggle for existence. Such tasks provided clear goals and immediate satisfaction upon achievement, establishing a direct relationship between efforts and tangible outcomes, fostering a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

Conversely, the complexity of modern life has changed how individuals navigate their existence. Advances in technology, globalization, and increased societal expectations have made daily life more complex. Continuously changing goals in work and personal life can make it challenging for individuals to determine what is truly important. In the modern world, the outcomes of our efforts and achievements are often long-term and fraught with uncertainties, creating an environment where instant gratification is diminished, and the concrete metrics of success are blurred.

This complexity can increase individuals’ unhappiness by:

  • Difficulty in Making Decisions: Life’s complexities necessitate constant decision-making, leading to stress, indecision, and regret.
  • Deferred Gratification: Achieving goals in the modern world often takes time and patience, reducing motivation and satisfaction.
  • Uncertainty of Values: In contemporary society, what is valued is constantly changing, causing difficulties in focusing and leading to dissatisfaction and anxiety when contemplating life’s meaning and purpose.

C) Social Bonds and Loneliness

In ancient societies, people tended to live within tight-knit communities that offered mutual support, security, and a sense of belonging, strengthening bonds among individuals. These communities provided economic, emotional, and social support, uniting during hard times and sharing joys. This was a natural part of individuals’ social networks and interactions, significantly reducing feelings of loneliness.

In modern society, however, individualism and the tendency to live alone have become more prevalent, especially due to urbanization, changes in family structure, and technological advancements. Social media and digital communication tools, while replacing face-to-face interactions, can weaken real social bonds and create a misleading sense of connection. Consequently, the number of deep and meaningful relationships decreases, and feelings of social isolation and loneliness increase.

D) Physical Activity

In the past, daily life required physical activity. Basic survival activities like agriculture, hunting, and gathering kept people constantly moving. Such levels of physical activity improved heart health, flexibility, and overall physical endurance, while reducing stress and providing psychological benefits like better sleep quality.

However, today’s lifestyle is more sedentary. Many people spend long hours sitting for work or education, which can lead to physical health issues. Additionally, the lack of physical activity can lead to mood fluctuations, increased risk of anxiety and depression, and negatively affect mental health, depriving individuals of the positive effects on stress management and emotional resilience.

In these contexts, the reduction of social bonds and physical activity are among the challenges brought by modern life, significantly affecting individuals’ happiness and overall well-being. To combat these issues, spending more time in the community, strengthening social relationships, and incorporating regular physical activity into one’s lifestyle are crucial.

The Role of Perceived Time in the Healing Process

The Impact of Perceived Time on Physical Healing

An intriguing piece of research from the scientific community: Psychologists Peter Aungle and Ellen Langer from Harvard University conducted a study revealing that perceived time significantly influences the healing of physical wounds. Published in the Scientific Reports journal in 2023, this research takes a new dimension in examining the effects of psychological processes on physical health.

The study was carried out by inflicting minor, painless wounds on volunteer participants. Their perception of time was altered in a laboratory setting: Slow Time (0.5x real time), Normal Time (1x real time), and Fast Time (2x real time). Under these three different conditions, the healing processes of the wounds were observed. Interestingly, when participants believed more time had passed, the wounds healed faster. Conversely, when they believed less time had passed, the healing process was slower.

To simplify, a group of scientists conducted an experiment. In the experiment, small, painless wounds were made on some people. Then, these people were made to believe they were experiencing different durations in the laboratory. For example, one group was told “an hour has passed” when in reality only half an hour had passed. This is the “Slow Time” experiment. Another group was correctly told “1 hour has passed,” representing “Normal Time.” Finally, a group was told “2 hours have passed,” though in reality, it was only an hour. This is known as “Fast Time.” Then, scientists looked at how people’s wounds healed under these different perceptions of time. Interestingly, the wounds of the people in the “2 hours passed” group actually healed in just one hour. But in the group told “half an hour passed,” the healing took longer. Thus, the more time people thought had passed, the faster their wounds healed. This experiment shows how much people’s thoughts can help in the healing of their bodies.

These findings open new doors to more deeply explore the interactions between the mind and body and their effects on health. Traditionally, the effects of psychological factors on physical health have been evaluated through emotional states (for instance, stress, inflammation, and immune functions) and behaviors (for instance, beliefs that promote healthy actions). However, this research shows that abstract beliefs we hold about our bodies can also directly shape our physical health.

This study presents a strong argument for a more comprehensive assessment of the “unity” concept of mind and body and its effects on health. The researchers propose that psychological factors have a broader range of effects on physical health, thereby offering a new direction for future research in this area.

This research challenges traditional approaches in the health field and encourages us to consider the potential impacts of the mind-body connection on our health more comprehensively. The increasing presence of such research both in academic circles and in the general understanding of health is promising.


“Perceived time has an actual effect on physical healing, study finds” – Harvard University, Scientific Reports (2023).
Peter Aungle et al., “Physical healing as a function of perceived time”, Scientific Reports (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-5000

Unveiling Destiny: The Profound Insights of Hakan Mengüç’s ‘Nothing Encounter is by Chance

Nothing Encounter is by Chance

Hakan Mengüç’s book “No Encounter is by Chance” posits a compelling argument: the encounters and experiences in our lives are not random, but rather, each event carries a significant meaning. This work delves into the profound message that every meeting and occurrence in life holds a purpose, emphasizing that nothing is truly coincidental. As readers journey through the book, the experiences shared provoke deep reflections on their inner selves and perspectives on life. This masterpiece offers readers the chance to re-evaluate the events and encounters in their lives from a fresh viewpoint.

A Brief Biography of Hakan Mengüç

Hakan Mengüç is a distinguished Turkish writer, speaker, and columnist known for his insightful reflections on spirituality, personal growth, and the interconnectedness of life’s events. With a background that spans various fields, Mengüç has established himself as a voice of wisdom and inspiration in the literary world. His works often explore the depth of human emotions, the spiritual journey of individuals, and the serendipitous nature of life’s path. Mengüç’s writing not only challenges readers to look beyond the surface of their experiences but also encourages a deeper understanding of the self and the universe. Through his books, Mengüç continues to touch the hearts and minds of readers, fostering a space for introspection and the discovery of life’s hidden treasures.

sufism hakan menguc

The idea that no encounter in our lives is coincidental invites us to a journey of deep self-awareness and personal development. The concept of “No Encounter is by Chance” represents an effort to understand the complex fabric of life. It suggests that the people we meet and the events we experience in our lives carry meaningful lessons that shape, teach, and grow us.

To deeply understand ourselves and our surroundings, accepting that every person and event entering our lives has a purpose offers us a rich perspective. This means that even encounters that seem coincidental are actually opportunities for learning necessary for our personal growth. Like a hidden supportive hand from the universe, people and experiences that appear in our lives at certain moments guide us on our inner journey.

Every encounter is an opportunity to better understand ourselves, realize our potential, and find our place in the flow of life. This understanding helps us develop a more open-minded and accepting attitude towards life. Instead of resisting problems and challenges, we can see them as a natural part of our personal development.

The philosophy of “No Encounter is by Chance” teaches us to seek deep meanings even in the ordinary moments of life. It encourages us to appreciate the beauty of the moment and the potential that every new encounter brings, making the most of the endless possibilities life offers. With this mindset, we can see every day as a valuable step in our journey of self-discovery and growth.

Hakan Mengüç’s “Awakening of the Heart” Seminar Draws Major Interest in Germany

Hakan Mengüç’s “Awakening of the Heart” Seminar Draws Major Interest in Germany (16-17-18 February 2024)

Renowned author, composer, and academic Hakan Mengüç garnered significant acclaim with his “Awakening of the Heart” seminar in leading German cities such as Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Mannheim. Incorporating performances on the Ney and piano into his program, Mengüç offered participants a unique sense of peace through his impressive presentations on Sufi philosophy.

The rapid sell-out of this seminar series demonstrated that Hakan Mengüç has a wide following not only in Turkey but also internationally. The intense interest in the seminars highlighted the universal appeal of Mengüç’s content and his ability to bridge different cultures.

These seminars in Germany are considered a significant step forward in establishing Mengüç as a key figure in cultural interaction and spiritual teaching, as well as in promoting Sufi philosophy and Turkish music worldwide. Mengüç’s seminars not only provide rich information and music but also underscore the unifying power of different cultures and schools of thought.

Hakan Mengüç: A Pioneer of Contemporary Sufism and a Multifaceted Intellectual

Hakan Mengüç is a multifaceted personality known as an author, composer, academic, and Ney (sufi flute) player. He has become a significant figure in spiritual and academic fields by teaching Sufi Philosophy at Girne American University and presiding over the Sufi Academy established within the same university. The publication of his nine books and their translation into 13 different languages clearly indicate his global impact.

this photo is about sufi philosophy teacher writer musician Hakan Menguc

Born in Bursa, (Turkiye) Mengüç formed a deep connection with Sufi philosophy and Ney music from an early age. This interest led him to learn Ottoman Turkish, Persian, and engage in studies on the Masnavi. He expanded his knowledge and experience by visiting spiritual centers worldwide and eventually began sharing his inner journey and teachings through his books.

Mengüç has reached millions through social media with his straightforward narrative and compositions, adopting a mission to contribute to society by providing free education to the youth. Through the HM Young Leaders Academy, he has organized seminars and workshops for individuals under 25, significantly contributing to their personal and professional development.

Valuing music education, Mengüç has trained in piano and Ney, sharing his compositions on digital music platforms. He has also demonstrated his academic competence in the field of music by completing a certified course from Harvard University on “The 19th Century Orchestra and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.”

As an internationally recognized figure, Mengüç has reached broad audiences through platforms like TEDx, discussing Sufi philosophy. Additionally, he has shared his knowledge and experiences through seminars at significant institutions and universities in Turkey and Europe. Notably, his seminars at Windesheim University and Amsterdam Vrije University (Netherlands), along with the University of Southern Denmark, have made him a well-known name in academic and spiritual circles across Europe. These universities are among Europe’s leading educational institutions, and Mengüç’s talks on Sufi philosophy and personal development on these platforms have solidified his international influence and acceptance.

The life and work of Hakan Mengüç demonstrate that he is not just a source of knowledge but also a leader who inspires society. His impressive journey from internal exploration to international platforms clearly showcases his strong character and the extent of his impact.

(This article was prepared by the biographical sociologist Hazar Erdem for a magazine.)

Keywords: Hakan Mengüç, Sufi Philosophy, Ney Artist, Modern Sufism, Academic and Author, Spiritual Leadership, Cultural Interaction, Bestselling Books, Music and Education, International Seminars

The Journey of Love in Sufism: A Deep Dive into the Heart

The Journey of Love in Sufism: A Deep Dive into the Heart

For centuries, Sufism has served as a mystical path guiding people in purifying their souls and achieving inner peace. At the heart of this mystical journey lies ‘love’. In Sufi tradition, love is much more than just an emotion or a bond between people; it is the essence of existence and the foundation of the human connection with the divine. In this article, we will explore the understanding of love in Sufism and how this mystical path reaches the depths of the heart.

1. The Definition of Love in Sufism:
In Sufism, love signifies a universal consciousness and spiritual awakening. For instance, the Sufi thinker Ibn Arabi describes love as “the heart of existence.” According to him, love is a cosmic energy that resides at the core of everything and connects all creation. In Ibn Arabi’s philosophy, relinquishing one’s ego and surrendering to this universal love is the key to true knowledge and peace.

2. Love in Sufi Poetry:
Jalaluddin Rumi’s poem “The Dance of Love” perfectly reflects the power of love in the Sufi understanding. Rumi portrays love as a force that liberates the human soul from its limitations and invites it to dance in a sea of divine love. The poem emphasizes the importance of transcending individual love to attain an awareness of universal and divine love.

3. Love and Union with the Divine:
For those following the Sufi path, love is central to the union with the divine. This concept is embodied in Mansur Al-Hallaj’s statement, “I am the Truth.” This means that Mansur saw himself as a complete part of the divine existence, transcending the limits of his individual self. For Hallaj, love meant transcending one’s ego boundaries to achieve complete union with the divine.

In Sufism, love is not just an emotion but also a journey. This journey takes us from our inner world to a deeper understanding of universal consciousness and existence. The concept of love in the Sufi tradition carries an inspiring message not only for Sufi thinkers and poets but for all humanity: Love is the key not only to our connections with each other but also to our bond with the entire universe.

New Year, A New Page, New Resolutions, and Sufism

New Year, A New Page, New Resolutions, and Sufism

The new year is often seen as a time of new beginnings and opportunities for renewal for many people. This period is commonly considered a time to set personal goals and make changes in our lives. Sufism offers a unique perspective on this process of renewal. The teachings of this mystical tradition can add a meaningful dimension to our new year’s resolutions, focusing on inner transformation and mindful living.

1. Self-Discovery:
Sufism places the journey of personal discovery at its core. The new year is a perfect time to embark on or continue this journey. Sufi teachings guide us towards our inner world, helping us to discover our true selves. Self-awareness can make our new year’s resolutions more conscious and purpose-driven.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing 
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”


2. Ego and Forgiveness:
In Sufism, the ego is seen as a barrier to our true self. The new year is an opportunity to recognize and free ourselves from our ego. It’s also a time to forgive and let go of our past mistakes and grievances. This is a fundamental step for both personal growth and making a healthier start in our relationships.

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”


3. Love and Connectedness:
Sufism places great emphasis on the concepts of universal love and connectedness. In our new year’s resolutions, we can adopt a more loving, understanding, and connected approach towards others and the world. This can enhance our personal peace and contribute to positive changes in our community.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”


The new year offers more than just setting external goals; it is also an opportunity for inner transformation and renewal. The teachings of Sufism can guide this process of renewal and help us find deeper meaning and purpose in all areas of our lives. As we step into the early days of this new year, let’s fill our hearts and minds with the wisdom that Sufism offers and take steps towards discovering our true potential.

The secret of long relationships

Sevgi (Love): You should love without harming, spilling, or hurting. After all, everyone claims to love.

Loyalty: Trust is more important than love. You love whom you trust. Love ends where trust ends.

Patience: You shouldn’t leave at the first fight or argument. You should fight for your relationship. It takes courage to love, but perseverance to continue.

Respect: You should respect their decisions and the way they live their life. Don’t try to change them. Love them as they are, not as you want them to be.

Interest: Finally, interest is crucial because everything that doesn’t receive attention dies. This includes feelings, relationships, and even flowers.


Since 2010, I have occasionally shared insights in my writings about the subconscious processes that influence our decisions, often without our awareness. In this context, this article will examine the impact of physical attractiveness and persuasion on our decisions. My goal is for you to make more informed decisions after reading this article and not to be misled by physical attractiveness.


Physical attractiveness is a significant factor that people consider when evaluating someone. Research indicates that individuals exhibit a more positive attitude towards physically attractive people and are more inclined to believe what they say.

Numerous studies in the field of business have shown that physically attractive individuals tend to be more successful. For instance, a physically attractive waiter in a restaurant may receive more tips. It has also been observed that attractive individuals receive more positive responses in job interviews and are perceived as more skilled and qualified by employers.

In social and personal relationships, physical attractiveness can also be influential. One study revealed that an attractive person joining a group received more attention and was more readily accepted. Additionally, physically attractive individuals have been observed to be more popular, have more friends, and attract more attention in social settings.

However, physical attractiveness alone is not sufficient, and the influence of other factors should also be considered. For instance, factors such as trustworthiness, authority, and the content of the speech can also be effective in persuasion and belief.

This situation is supported by various studies demonstrating the significant impact of physical attractiveness on people’s perceptions and social interactions. The influence of physical attractiveness on trust, interaction, and belief can be explained as follows:

Halo Effect: The tendency of people to trust and believe in physically attractive individuals can be associated with a psychological phenomenon known as the “halo effect.” According to this effect, people attribute more positive qualities to someone they find attractive and tend to believe that this person is more honest, intelligent, and trustworthy. Example: In job interviews, employers have been observed to evaluate attractive candidates as more skilled and successful.

First Impression: Physical attractiveness plays a crucial role in the quick and automatic evaluations people make about each other. Attractive individuals are generally perceived as more trustworthy and positively evaluated. Example: In politics, it has been found that voters trust physically attractive candidates more and believe more in their policies.

Social Success: Physical attractiveness is associated with social success and popularity. People trust and believe more in the words of individuals who are accepted and liked by others due to their attractiveness.

However, these tendencies are generalizations and may not apply in every situation.


Research shows that people tend to trust physically attractive individuals more and believe in their words more. This demonstrates how the perception of attractiveness can influence people’s perceptions, judgments, and behaviors.

For example, physically attractive individuals may be perceived as more qualified and skilled in the eyes of employers. Therefore, employers may trust these individuals more and believe in what they say. This situation can help attractive individuals achieve more success in the professional world.

It has also been observed that physically attractive individuals attract more attention during presentations and receive more interest from the audience. This may be due to the audience’s more positive attitude towards attractive individuals.

Moreover, attractive individuals have been observed to be more successful in their social interactions with others. For instance, it has been found that an attractive person receives more help and sympathy in an encounter.

FINAL WORDS Although physical attractiveness has a significant impact on persuasion, making decisions based solely on physical attractiveness is undoubtedly misleading. You should pay attention to whether the ideas advocated by a person are logical and realistic, rather than their appearance. You should not allow physical attractiveness to influence you.

Your decisions should be made objectively and logically. It is crucial to make decisions after a detailed analysis, without succumbing to emotional reactions. Remember that your decisions can shape your life in the long run, so it is important to make them consciously.

For those who want to learn more about the topic, here are some recommended resources and books:

The books listed below can help you gain more insight into the impact of physical attractiveness on people’s perceptions. Each book explores the relationship between attractiveness, beauty, and human behavior from different perspectives.

“Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful” – Daniel S. Hamermesh This book is based on research that examines how attractive people are more successful in the business world and social life, addressing the impact of physical attractiveness on people’s successes and perceptions.

“Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty” – Nancy Etcoff
Nancy Etcoff explores the evolutionary and biological foundations of beauty and attractiveness in this book, examining how these concepts reflect in social interactions among people.

“The Halo Effect: … and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers” – Phil Rosenzweig This book discusses common misconceptions that managers often fall into in the business world, including the Halo Effect, examining physical attractiveness, success, and perception in the context of business.

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” – Robert B. Cialdini This book explains the psychological principles underlying persuasion and influence processes, touching upon the role of physical attractiveness in persuading people.

“The Social Animal” – Elliot Aronson While explaining fundamental concepts and theories in social psychology, this book also addresses the impact of physical attractiveness on people’s social interactions and perceptions.

The Road to Success: The Power of Mindset

1. Success Rates:

  • In every sector, only 5% achieve success. But why?

2. Key to Success:

  • Only 20% of success is related to external factors (company, school, conditions).
  • However, 80% depends on personal factors: mindset, talent, consistent work, change, and adaptability.

3. The Importance of Mindset:

  • Talent and hard work are not enough; you need a strong mindset.
  • Would names like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos succeed if they did your job? Probably yes. Because of mindset!

4. What is Mindset?

  • Having the right and positive perspective.
  • Your stance against problems: Like with the Everest example, challenges shape who we are.

Challenges are like handfuls of salt. Some put it in a glass and drink bitter water, others throw it into the ocean and drink sweet water.

  • Stop complaining.
  • Successful people have different habits.
  • Mindset is essentially a way of thinking. This gradually transforms into feelings, behaviors, habits, and eventually character. And character determines our destiny.

5. Final Thoughts:

  • To succeed, you first need to fall.
  • Always focus on the positive.
  • The people around you and their quality directly affect your success.

Conclusion: Right actions yield results only with the right mindset.