Thavry Thon about happiness
Thavry Thon have been raised in the countryside of Cambodia. She is from simple farming hard-working and happy family. Thavry’s parents realized value of the educations which is almost miracle when we consider slow recovering after the great turmoil and destruction of cambodian civil war and the Khmer Rouge. They support Thavry a lot, but it doesn’t mean, it was easy for her. Getting up at half past four to get to school in time was normal at that time.
She studied well, she got to private university in Phnom Penh and then she got scholarship for 3 years study in the Czech Republic – Europe.
All the time she has been loved art, writing and traveling. Nowadays, she has 4 books written and the last one Proper woman is bestseller (Facebook Proper woman). Thavry’s inspiring story helps females all around the world and shows that encouraging young women to believe in their dreams – and supporting them to do so – can lead to a freedom to learn and grow unknown to earlier generations. Read more on her website Thavry.com.
Happyence: Thavry, nowadays you inspire many women. When did you realized that you can step out of the “grid”? Can you please more describe conditions in which you grew up?
Thavry Thon: When I finished my high school and left my village to continue my university in Phnom Penh. I get to see the bigger picture of the world. And even bigger when I left my country to study in the Czech Republic. I started to question “what if I did not have such a chance like this? Why young women don't get the same chance, and what if they have the same chance like me? I started to push the boundary of the social expectation what the society expect of me to behave or act toward my own future.
When I look back to my primary school and secondary school friends, they are mostly living in the same circle, get married young, having children, doing some farming, or work at the factory. And they don't really go anywhere beside this.
I feel that my life should not just be in one place, and I think I can do much more, and so I kept fighting on what I believe in.
Happyence: What made you think about your happiness and what influenced you the most in that way?
Thavry Thon: My most happiness is having the power to do what I want to do, desire and direct my own life. On top of that, traveling has been one of my most happiness. When I can get to travel, I feel very happy. Because it is one form of my life's education.
I would say a self-driven, and desire to explore more about the world has been my influence.
Happyence: You already wrote what generally makes you happy. Do you have something what helps keep you happy even in difficult days? Do you have something to do every day to keep you feel happy?
Thavry Thon: During my difficulty, I find writing has helped me a lot. It is my natural way of expressing myself. I write gratitude journal before I go to bed, it reminds me of people around me who always stand by me and being my support.
Happyence: I don’t really understand where you see the difference between happiness and well-being. Do you see there any?
Thavry Thon: I don't see any difference between the two.
Happyence: It’s well known that community work and helping others raise our spirit. When and how did you realize it? Were you searching about how to help others, or it just happened?
Thavry Thon: I can't just live alone by myself in the planet. I started to do homestays and working with local people in my own community since 2015, and ever since, it makes me happy in a way that I could go back and prove people there that education is something worth to fight for. On the other hand, seeing them build up an international relationship and at the same time, earning extra income through eco-tourism.
Happyence: You filled in quiz you feel very happy. Is it your ordinary feeling or you had to work hard to reach it? Are there any dark thoughts which you must fight with? How do you do that?
Thavry Thon: Human emotion is up and down but the thing is, how do you deal with when you feel unhappy. To me, I am happy when I could do what I love to do, and able to achieve my goals, or dreams. I try to focus on positive thing rather than being moody in the things I can't change. For example bad weather or being in a place that I don't know anybody. I try to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation and just go with the flow. And after all, they are just an experiences and to earn an experience is something that always makes me happy too.
Happyence: As you wrote, simply said happiness means doing what you love to do. Do you feel some conflict between happiness and responsibility?
Thavry Thon: Not really, to me, when I do what I love to do, I am always have a ready to take any responsibility. When I do what I love, even with work, I don't feel like working but rather a vacation. And when I reach to this point, I feel like I have found a happiness of life.
Happyence: I think it is your topic – What we are supposed to do and what we want to do. Could you please explain your opinion about that?
Thavry Thon: Suppose to does not mean you really want to do, maybe rather by ordering from someone. But what you want to do, is something come from you, your insight or your desire to do things.
Happyence: I like your motto: “Be the captain of your own life and stay true to who you are.”. Where did it come from?
Thavry Thon: I found it through my life's journey. I realize by not accepting the expectation from others or society but focus on what your goals are, or dreams you want to them come true. You must stay strong, and stay strong to who you are. Be the captain of your own life is like it is you who drive the boat of life and only you know the clear direction of where you really want to go, and to reach the destination you wish to be, you must be the responsible captain.
Happyence: How was it to be different in your community? How did you come through? What was empowering you to hold and become the inspirational person who you are today?
Thavry Thon: At first, people did not believe that I could come this far. Number 1 - is I am a girl, number 2 – I am from a poor farming family. They don't believe in the power of education. But I prove them wrong. My family have been very supportive and always empower me to believe that education can change my life and I believe so.
Happyence: If you could mention just one advice about how to raise happiness in life, what it would be?
Thavry Thon: Find the true meaning of yourself and don't wait until everything is too late to do what you really want to do in life.
Happyence: I know you read a lot. Could you please give us a tip about some books? Which books helped you the most toward happiness? Which were the most inspirational?
Thavry Thon: I like reading autobiography, and fantasy, I like to learn from people's experience, how they overcome the difficulty in life and become an influence persons to so many people. I also like to use my imagination to be lost in the books.
Some of my top favorite books are Alchemist, Desert flowers, The girls with 7 names, Beautiful ever after, Beautiful, the little prince.
Happyence: If you want to say something on the end, this is the place. Thank you.
Thavry Thon: There is nothing to lose by just being happy and to be kind to yourself. In the end of the day, even the whole world give up on you, there is only one person that never give up on you, it's “Yourself”