Today, March 20th is the International Day of Happiness. What a perfectly good excuse to think about what makes you happy. Is happiness really a state of mind?
Thanks (not) to the power of technology & media, we are constantly barraged with the hate, grief and catastrophe happening all over the world. Due to this it can seem sometimes that there is no good news to be had. We plod along with our busy lives, stressed out by jobs, drowning under mortgages and bills, going crazy with kids & schedules and trying to remember to get everything done. Juggling, hoping we don’t drop a ball.
Whilst knowledge is power, it can also be truly depressing. We need get back to basics and think of what really and truly makes us happy. Now i don’t mean new shoes or wine (although both of those things are truly fabulous) I mean happiness in its most basic and pure form, the simplest things that give you that warm and fuzzy feeling. The things in your life that if they suddenly were not there, would see you wallowing depressed in a pit of despair. The things that last. Your health, your family. (hot water and indoor plumbing!).
Australia is known as the lucky country where opportunities abound, but how happy are we? The 2018 World Happiness Report shows Australia as the 10th happiest country in the world. We were pipped to the top spot by Finland, who have long been known to score highly due to it’s happy inhabitants. The rest of the top 10 is made up of Norway (2), Denmark (3), Iceland (4), Switzerland (5), The Netherlands (6), Canada (7), New Zealand (8) and Sweden (9).
The big question is…why are they happy? What makes Finnish people the happiest in the world? Why are the Danes always so easygoing? (it certainly can’t be the weather…). This report highlights a really important point that drove it home for me. (They were speaking specifically about the happiness of immigrants here, but the point remains the same for all).
“Happiness can change, and does change, according to the quality of the society in which people live…..it is already suggested that the countries with the happiest immigrants are not the richest countries, but instead the countries with a more balanced set of social and institutional supports for better lives”.
Simply put, you take care of your people and that will make a huge difference to their quality of life (and, one suggests, what they then put back into the local economy). An example of this was highlighted in the media this week when we saw the response by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden after the Terrorist shootings in Christchurch. She mourned with her people, paid for the funerals and started reform of gun laws. (also, unbelievably, the NZ people actually voted her in! Imagine! a country where you actually get to choose your prime Minister!…but alas, I digress). A country that looks after it’s people is a happy country.
If you really want to be truly happy, you need to think simply. Surround yourself with supportive people. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t care what other people think.
Live Simply. Dream Big. Be Authentic
Just Be you, Everyday