Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the primary measure of success in the world was based on how happy we all are.
Instead success is measured by quantifiable elements such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ie stuff we produce and by the amount of stuff we consume. Happiness is thus flung into the “wishy washy” pile and often classified as less serious, superficial and lightweight.
At a time when depression and suicide are on the rise – currently 300m people worldwide are suffering from depression – this is disturbing. A recent report by the World Health Organisation predicted that if nothing is done, by 2030 depression will be the number one illness in the world.
Happiness is often defined as the presence of positive emotions and the absence of negative ones. It is certainly never achieved purely by the presence of money!
Associating the state of being happy merely with being cheerful all the time creates another challenge. Research shows that “faking” happiness can result in long-term physical and emotional illness.
Happiness is not just about developing positive emotions, it has two other constituent parts: purpose and resilience. Having a clear and meaningful purpose is a key element in sustaining long-term happiness. And because negative emotions are an integral part of life, developing resilience is the third highly essential component of happiness, as it enables us to deal effectively with negative emotions when they arise.
As more and more jobs in the future will rely on artificial intelligence it is essential that we equip our young people with the resilience and emotional intelligence necessary to cope in a very different world.
Too many find life challenging and say they can’t cope, but the jobs of the future will require much more emotional intelligence to complement the sophisticated machines we work with. Schools need to seriously consider playing a role in developing students’ emotional intelligence and well-being.
Employers too can play their part as workplaces, where employees are happy and fulfilled, can mean increased productivity and turnover.
There will always be a need for human connection and this will be more successful with positive, purposeful and resilient people.
People pretending to be happy is of no benefit to anyone.
If you are concerned about how you can achieve the things that make YOU happy, do call us for a friendly chat. You might be surprised about what a bit of money coaching can do!