Finland is the happiest country in the World!
Happiness has been in the news this week as it was World Happiness Day on Wed 20th March, and the Annual World Happiness report was released revealing which countries are the happiest.
As CNN reported, countries are ranked based on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.
“The top 10 countries tend to rank high in all six variables, as well as emotional measures of well-being,” says report co-editor John Helliwell, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of British Columbia, who also highlighted that it’s not just about the native-born residents of those countries.
“It’s true that last year all Finns were happier than rest of the countries’ residents, but their immigrants were also happiest immigrants in the world,” says Helliwell. “It’s not about Finnish DNA. It’s the way life is lived in those countries.”
They pay high taxes for a social safety net, they trust their government, they live in freedom and they are generous with each other. “They do care about each other,” he says. “That’s the kind of place people want to live.”
Some of the richest countries in the world, including US, UK, Japan, Germany, Russia and China didn’t make it into the top 10 and overall world happiness has fallen over the past few years, the change mostly due to a sustained drop in India, but the report notes an increase of negative emotions, which were also measured including worry, sadness and anger.
This week has also seen the release of a Happy Office report, reported in HR Review, which ranks happiness based on industry sector. Based on the percentage of employees who say they are ‘happy or very happy’ at work, Construction and Manufacturing are ranked at no 1 with 78%, and retail at no 10, 54%.
After working with us, Courageous Success clients report an average impact of 88% on their positivity and happiness. In our blog last week we talked about how our clients make a choice to be happy, one of the simplest strategies in the world, that we know takes courage. Part of this strategy links to the observations made about what makes Finnish people the happiest in the world; taking the emphasis off yourself and being kind and generous to others. 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.
Here are some hints and tips to help this choice – and make like a Finn!
- Be the same person at work as you are at home – bring all of you to work, become what makes you happy.
- Accept that others might be different to you, and will do things differently – embrace the richness of diversity.
- 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.
- Apply gratitude to your working life – notice the good in others and hold positive expectation.
- Make the choice to always have a positive impact on those you interact with – wherever you are and whoever you’re with.
- Be generous – share your ideas and yourself. Let the people around you know that you like them, be consciously empathetic and look for every opportunity to give.
- Be conscious of your inner dialogue: does it need to change to be more positive and optimistic?
- Take responsibility for your own happiness; don’t wait for something or someone to make you happy.
- Watch your language: use positive language consistently, both internally and externally.
- Ask yourself, what is meaningful in what I 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?
It is your choice: make the most of everyday, whatever you are doing, and make a positive difference for you and those around you.