Do We All Need a School For Happiness?
A new school in India will concentrate on teaching ”happiness first”, with ”learning skills coming later”.
Reported by Fast Company this week.
”It’s our view that happiness – or emotional intelligence, or balance, or confidence, or self-esteem, or any other word for feeling good about ourselves and our place in the world – is the foundation on which great lives and great achievements are built,” says Riverbend School cofounder Vivek Reddy. A massive and powerful statement, the philosophy of the new school turning traditional ways of teaching on its head.
The founders, a group of entrepreneurs, have been inspired by the longest running study of the health of adults, that has found, by following graduates from Harvard since 1938, that our ”relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health.’’
This ties in with so many other pieces of research and evidence about the power of happiness. Here’s just a few of them:
- Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed. You’re 37% better at sales. Doctors are 19% faster and more accurate at coming up with the correct diagnosis when positive instead of negative, neutral or stressed. Shawn Achor.
- In a study of Japanese workers at a large IT company ”….a higher sense of purpose as well as a sense of interdependence with co-workers was correlated with lower inflammation as well as a higher viral resistance in the bodies of the workers.’’ HBR
- Happy workers are 12% more productive than the average worker, and unhappy workers are 10% less productive. University of Warwick.
But I don’t need to tell you this – we all know this, we’re all searching for happiness, hence the massive market in ‘how to’ guides to happiness.
When we work with clients they tell us that our progammes have an 88 % impact on positivity and happiness. Research tells us, and we know from working with our clients, that when your brain is in a positive state – your intelligence, creativity and energy levels rise and business outcomes improve. Feeling happier impacts positively on so many aspects of work: leadership, relationships, feeling included and purpose.
Yes – we have the magic pill for happiness!!
We all have a tendency to think that happiness is something that we have to find or be given. Someone or something makes us happy, hence reaching for self-help books. Richard Branson attributes his success partly due to ”being happy” – rather than ”pursuing happiness”. Interesting that this is about ‘being’ not ‘pursuing’
At Courageous Success we know this, we can make ourselves happy; through our reactions to others and circumstances and by creating happiness for ourselves.
Our thoughts create our lives. All of our feelings, beliefs and knowledge are based on our internal thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, and we are in control of these processes – we may not feel it, as we are often in a well-worn, and comfortable habit of blaming the world, or those around us, for what happens to us and how we feel about it – it’s easier to blame something else isn’t it?
However ,we can choose to be positive or negative, enthusiastic or dull, active or passive. The difference between happy people or unhappy people is not what they experience, but how they interpret their experiences – good or bad.
We know from Neuroscience that the brain is elastic and that it is possible to change our thoughts. This proves we can all make conscious decisions to view the events in our lives optimistically, rather than negatively, and exercise more control.
Happiness is a choice.
What do we need or depend on to be happy? Is it that next pay rise, relationship, next holiday, better car or house, or when I am more successful? Is it something created outside of ourselves or from the inside? The answer is probably both, however one of these is much more reliable and sustainable and more importantly – in our control!
Sorry, we don’t actually hand out magic pills, but what we do is equally powerful – we help others create a positive mind-set. How we have such an impact on happiness and positivity is because we put your power back in your hands; influencing the relationship you have with yourself and the world around you, creating happiness from the inside and not relying or hoping about what happens outside.
72% of our clients tell us that our programme has changed their lives in some way. Often they tell us that they wish they had been on the programme years ago, or that it would be brilliant now for their teenage or young adult children. It would be fantastic if all of our children were given these tools and techniques at school as a foundation to living life. But it’s never too late to start!
Ask yourself these questions;
Am I waiting for ‘the world’ or ‘something’ to make me happy?
What could I do now to take the initiative and increase my happiness?
What habits do I have that create unhappiness or low mood? Comparing myself to others or similar?
Here are some hints and tips to nurture a positive mind-set:
- Take the positivity challenge; for ten days choose to see the positive in all situations and in all interactions with others. Avoid negative influences e.g. the media or negative people.
- Be conscious of your inner dialogue: does it need to change to be more positive and optimistic?
- Visualise what you would like to happen, where you would like to be in the future.
- Watch your language: use positive language consistently, both internally and externally.
- Ask yourself, what is meaningful in what you do? Focus on this more.
- Identify what difference you really want to make in your role, in the company. Make this happen. Regularly review how you’re doing to get that positive feedback loop.
- Create a purpose of being. How do I want to be as a co-worker, team member, leader? Am I making enough effort to make a difference?