As a teenager, Orlande recalls her upbringing as emotionally sad and unprepared for life. While she grew up seemingly free from any life-threatening sickness, her loved ones remember the many chronic symptoms impacting her life from an early age. Because it wasn't labelled or investigated, she didn't identify as someone who was "ill," but she occasionally wondered how some people seemed to navigate life so seamlessly.
Originally from France, Orlande moved to the Philippines at age five and has since lived in Greece, Canada, the United States, and Sweden. Her journey through different cultures and environments has profoundly shaped her perspective on life.
At the age of five, during a flight to the Philippines with her mother, Orlande was told by a stranger, "Your daughter is going to do something great." This prophetic statement left a lasting impression on her, igniting contemplation of her untapped potential.
Our lives are intricately woven with memories, some of which mold us into the individuals we are today.
Growing up as an only child, Orlande felt no overt parental pressure, yet it was implicitly clear that she needed to excel and adhere to the standards set by her parents.
However, her relationship with her mother was intricate and strained. Rituals like making her bed before school sparked tensions. Orlande found this ritual trivial since she would use her bed again after school. However, her perspective has shifted; she now enjoys making and comprehends the value of starting each day with a well-made bed, a realization that dawned on her after leaving her parents' place and striking out on her own.
This disharmony stemmed from a deeper issue: her mother's perception of being a "good" mother. Orlande reflects that societal expectations played a role, but they were not the sole factor. Her mother's actions were influenced by complex factors, some deeply personal and not entirely apparent. The complexities of their relationship were rooted in this internal conflict, transcending beyond the act of making a bed.
Orlande's perspective evolved when she recognized it wasn't solely about a tidy bed but her mother's uncertainties as a parent. Orlande also questions her potential as a future mother and acknowledges the multifaceted nature of motherhood.
In 2020, following the global pandemic outbreak, The Happy Project emerged as Orlande's platform to explore, share, and offer insights on finding happiness during crises. Her quest to comprehend joy led her to delve into the subject, not out of personal darkness but to navigate life's challenges with resilience.
Orlande shares her wisdom through weekly quotes, a monthly newsletter, videos, and articles. Notably, she has also introduced engaging podcast episodes. Her intention is not to dictate but to ignite reflection and nurture connections among her readers and listeners.
While contemplating ways to potentially monetise her project, she remains steadfast in her commitment to authenticity and delivering meaningful content.
Her motivation to help others find happiness is driven by her vision of a future where her children will thrive. She envisions a society and world she's proud to share with her offspring and considers how they might perceive her current actions, even before becoming a parent herself.
Although her journey has had its share of bumps, a pivotal moment occurred during her 30th birthday in France when she reconnected with her mother. This milestone marked a turning point, bringing about a sense of peace and mutual understanding in their relationship.
As for her connection with her father, changes emerged due to distance and shifts in shared activities. What's worth mentioning is that this situation has evolved over the past year. They intentionally took more time to reconnect, leading to an adventure together - journeying by train and bus through the breath-taking mountains of the Caucasus this spring.
Her pursuit of happiness is grounded in the idea that a meaningful life is crucial to long-term happiness. She encourages individuals to find purpose in what they do rather than be content with superficial happiness.
Regarding the impact of social media on happiness, Orlande views it as a non-competitive space. She's not positioning herself as a coach or guru but aims to provide content that deeply resonates with people.
Her journey also led her to write a book titled "The Unofficial International Student Guide," addressing inequalities in studying abroad. Through diverse stories and experiences, she aspires to inspire others. Central to her mission is the idea that fostering happiness contributes to a better society. She believes happy individuals are less inclined to harm others and can actively address significant global challenges.
In a Clubhouse chat within the "Teleportation Hour" group, Orlande Bidaux delved into an hour-long discussion about her intriguing "Happiness Reminders" project. We navigated her journey of resilience and connection, urging listeners to reflect on their own routes to happiness while fostering a sense of shared understanding and camaraderie.
In her journey toward happiness, she's learned that it's essential not to rush the process. She encourages focusing on the present, one step at a time.
Orlande leaves us with valuable advice: follow the examples of people whose lives you genuinely admire, but do so with a discerning eye. Happiness is a personal journey; we can make meaningful transformations by taking it at our own pace.