Where I work the whole staff get together every quarter for a two hour working lunch. It’s my meeting – I write the agenda and I try to incorporate presentations, exercises, videos or stories into it to inspire and motivate.
In April 2019 I was standing in front of the staff and getting them to do an exercise that Shawn Achor (author of The Happiness Advantage) often runs with large groups of people. In groups of 2 facing each other, Person No. 1 is instructed to remain neutral in their face and show zero emotion. Person No. 2 is to look directly in their eyes, and for 7 seconds smile genuinely and warmly at their partner.
The outcome obviously is that No. 1 finds it impossible to have their face remain emotionless. This is because we are wired for human emotion and warmth. We swapped the roles and the room turned into raucous laughter, as this time they knew what to expect. It was a fun experiment, but the next thing that happened surprised me. I found myself telling them that I would be running a course starting the following month for anyone who wanted more happiness in their lives. I can be prone to spontaneity, but this was way off my radar.
Fast forward one month and I’d found the time to research and put together the first lesson. My husband and I tried out all sorts of names for size – he created me a website – and Achieving Happiness was born. It was built on the mantra of:
Happiness is a choice – I want you to make that choice and influence others
Happiness is contagious – I want you to spread it
April 2020 was the last time I blogged. Easter weekend. In the space of weeks our lives all turned upside down by COVID-19. I’ve had more time to write, but I lost the drive. How could I expect anyone to believe that achieving happiness is possible, when so much can be taken away so rapidly? I think I felt I was trite and delusional, rather than passionately optimistic.
So much has changed in me over the past 20 months. I now realise that we can achieve happiness, and then be sad, and grieve, and worry. And then we can get back on the horse and make the choice for happiness and spread this uplifting contagion instead. Be careful. Be kind. Some are not ready. Some are in dark places. Maybe all you can do is sit with them. Be with them.
And always remember “If you see a person without a smile, please give them one of yours”.
How many times have you done it? You’ve set some goals for the New Year, only to give up half way through January? Here are some thoughts about how to change that.
Please forgive me. I’ve taken a little literary licence with this blog title; a play on the opening line to Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. For those who haven’t read it, it’s a novel about Dickens’ belief in the possibility of resurrection and transformation,...
Time. It’s one of the greatest equalisers. We all get the same 24 hours per day, and what we choose to do with it is largely up to us.
There has been a shift over the last few years in how people relate to their use of time and how they communicate about it.
This blog discusses that.
It’s 31 December 2019. Last day of the year. Some are saying (most actually) that it’s the last day of the decade. Today I’m looking back, to look forward.
Keep your happiness levels up if for the month of December with an advent calendars of activities to get you through to the festive holiday season.
As a child, when the cereal were on the breakfast table, I would have read every word on the back of the box. What I am currently reading, and why?
I’ve spent some time this week reflecting on whether you can be happy when your body is not in the best of health. Logically it seemed to me that you can’t be.
What I would tell my younger self if I could write myself a letter and mail it back in time, given the benefit of hindsight.
You become what you think about all day long. If you are thinking graciously about your life, giving thanks for your circumstances and the people in it, then you will see and experience good.
Where we are not all equal is how we choose to live the life we have been given. Are you living your life with purpose? Do you know what your reason for being is?
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