The Pursuit of Happiness
Today the ‘World Happiness Report’ was released depicting which countries in the world are most contented and essentially have the happiest people. Demark is number one, whilst Britain sits at a rather paltry number 18 – which is scarily four places below Israel.
But what makes people happy? The research shows that although money can’t buy you love; it sure helps, but that often it is the poorer neighbourhoods which have the most positive outlook.
How do you measure happiness? There were five clear areas which came out on top – if people had these in their lives then overall they were more satisfied:
• A sense of ownership of your destiny
• Feeling respected, listened to, and treated as individuals
• Being part of a wider community
• Having friends or family close by and
• Doing something with your time you consider worthwhile – be it your job, charity work or family life
The correlations with staff engagement levels at work are pretty obvious. This is what we aim to create with our work with clients. We help to build a place where people want to go to work and want to contribute their best. A place where people feel part of something, feel valued and feel proud of the contribution they make. We know all this but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to ask yourself - where would I rate my level of happiness?
That simple question makes you realise that changing things sits within taking ownership of your own attitude and mindset. Everyone can make a big difference if you just throw yourself into something. A few years ago you might remember Danny Wallace’s book “The Yes Man” where for a year he said yes to everything that came his way. With the help of a few MasterCards he went on a great adventure which took him all over the world.
Obviously, this is the extreme, but there is a nice message underneath. Saying yes immediately puts you in a positive mood and makes you feel good. Often it takes more time to complain and find excuses than it does to just say yes.
So let’s try it, smile, say yes and see where it leads you. For all you know we might raise our game in the stakes of happiness.