It’s 20th March 2019. Here’s wishing you a joyful International Day of Happiness!
Do this simplest of happiness practices today…a smile, a wave, an exchange of words with someone. Initiate it and notice when you receive it too. You’re creating what’s called positivity resonance. It fills up your wellbeing credit bank, so you will actually be healthier and happier by the end of the day.
By the way, you’ll also have been more creative as a problem-solver and increased your capacity to take action for positive impact in your work.
It’s so simple, I know that you’re tempted not to believe me, but the science of wellbeing backs it up, so really, get on with being happy today if you’re committed to being a change-maker.
Flow In Action + You > happiness = increase your positive impact for people and planet
You may not know yet that you can design solutions around proven wellbeing practices and measures to increase positive impact. And that is where Flow In Action comes in to help you.
We create the conditions for you – as youth, educators, entrepreneurs, impact investors and change-making organisations – to integrate wellbeing into your work to:
We introduce, explain, signpost, provide practical solutions and strategic business development support integrating well-being solutions into your activities; starting with our scene-setting workshop on why designing around happiness and wellbeing matters.
It’s more than a day!
International Day of Happiness was adopted by the UN in 2013, “its resolution 65/309 entitled “Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development”, conscious that the pursuit of happiness was a fundamental human goal, recognized that the gross domestic product (GDP) indicator was not designed to and did not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people.”
The UN recognised that to achieve the sustainable development goals for the good of all, we need to do things differently and integrate wellbeing, not just as a measure but as an approach in policies, strategies and delivery at a local level of the SDGs in every community.
Young people get it!
They may not always have the words but they intuitively feel it and know it – that we are all connected and interdependent. Last Friday, they got themselves out there to march for climate action.
Gen Z is not waiting for your permission. They are demanding the economics of flourishing, where we design education, healthcare, businesses, products and services for the wellbeing of the planet.
They understand, that more than ever the wellbeing of people and people, which are inextricably linked to each other, have become much more than a ‘nice-to-have’; they have become a ‘have-to-have’ - challenging us to be better, ‘fully human’ and dare to be different in the ways that we behave towards each other and as consumers.
So? Do you dare?
All that you need to do is get in touch via email@example.com to find out how the economics of flourishing can help you and your organisation.
#iamunprecedented #flowinaction #loveismysocialmission #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #climateaction #noplanetb #designforhappiness #internationalhappinessday
If you can get to Geneva on Wednesday 25th April, I’m running a workshop at Soft-Space about knowing who the people are that play a role in your success and where to start in building a relationship with them.
Relationships sit at the heart of your happiness. Your happiness comes from being able to stay on track with your social change mission as you put it together and deliver it; from creating a business that sustains you, to making real impact for the communities you care about.
This connectivity builds the foundations of your personal, professional and organisational resilience and wellbeing. It’s a have-to-have rather than a nice-to-have.
By resilience, I mean being able to adapt to challenges from a core of deep creativity and strengths; not pushing harder until you break. If you break, you cannot make positive impact for anyone, so the seeing yourself as a stakeholder in your own success is top of the list!
If you are an individual or micro social businesses and NGOs get signed up.
Whether you’re just transitioning into this space, starting up or established, the relationships you build are vital for the good times and the bad. It’s work in progress.
This is a practical session, a valuable (and often neglected) exercise in downloading and prioritising who you need to be talking to, so that you can invest your energy wisely.
That means not just talking to the people who ‘like’ your social mission but definitely the ones who don’t ‘like’ it, or don’t ‘get’ it or simply don’t care yet.
I’ll admit, it can be un-nerving to take time out to see things as they really are. You might discover that you haven’t paid enough attention to people or building relationships as you’ve been spinning other plates.
At this point you can either beat yourself up and feel like you’ve failed.
Or…you can consider yourself human, realise that blame is pointless and use this insight as a powerful lever for taking action.
It’s never too late to build bridges and as soon as you do, you are giving yourself room to adapt, respond and succeed in making positive change happen.
Click here to sign up for the workshop
We work in social change, surely everyone gets along? From my own experience, I know that this isn’t always true, sadly.
It’s always a bit of a shocker when someone you work with really seems to act as an obstacle. Across the spectrum of bad behaviour, they might deliberately block your way with power games designed to hurt or just ruffle feathers through well intentioned micro-management.
When it happens, your need to feel credible and respected goes onto red alert. It becomes an emotional battlefield, where your energy goes into protection through anger and anxiety, rather than achieving the social mission that gives you fulfilment.
You might think that these are your only options…you can dig in and hope that they leave your space. You can dig in and hope that karma happens. You can avoid them and leave the space.
All of these are disempowering you and get in the way of your work for others.
“The last thing you need after someone has done you an injustice is to do a greater injustice to yourself. Getting angrily upset over a frustration does not usually remove the frustration and always adds to your discomfort.” (Hauck, P. 1980: 122. Calm Down. London. Sheldon Press)
The only way to get your choices back and find a way forward, is your own mindset and behaviour.
Reconnect with your signature strengths, consciously come back to knowing and living your life values in your interactions, celebrate who you are. No-one can take these things away from you. Build that relationship with yourself, as your own best stakeholder.
Taking action from this place of self-compassion, opens up the actions you can take. Whether that’s via HR, deciding it’s time to start your own business, having a conversation with the person, choosing a new direction…it’s all within your power to decide.
Sometimes we don’t take action for ourselves because we don’t feel we ‘should’ have to. We’re so angry at the injustice of it all.
The moment you look to yourself, the moment you learn an empowering way to deal with the conflict, is the moment when you are free and flourishing as a changemaker.
Get in touch about 1-1 sessions either face-to-face or online so that you can get back to living your purpose passionately.
If you’re a kid being bullied, marginalised, sad, cutting yourself, depressed…talking about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can’t seem that relevant or probable.
Why care about these huge challenges when your own life hurts like hell?
It’s not that you’re unsympathetic…it’s just so abstract, it may as well be another Universe.
Leave the plastic packaging in the supermarket? Buy local produce? Set up your own business because there won’t be any jobs? Use a refillable cup or water bottle?
You must be thinking, “Seriously, how could that possibly matter to me?”
You’re wishing that all of those people around you taking action for others, would notice that you feel like s**t too.
When you’re making a difference for them, you’re wishing for a you to blitz in on roller-skates (it's a retro moment) and save you too.
You do the activity for a bit because it feels good to be good. For a while, you don’t feel like you can’t breathe because of the sadness pressing in on your heart-space.
What can I tell you that isn’t trite or glib self-help?
A different perspective. A candle in the window.
I know that YOU matter and you can tell me different, but I will not change my mind.
Those SDGs are for you too because we are all connected on this blue dot.
Pick this goal #3 Good Health & Wellbeing.
Start with your life.
When you ask for help for you, you know how to find the answer for them.
I could drop you into a refugee camp in Greece, or a remote village in India, or your school corridors, or a playing field, or the school bus; and you would know exactly how to talk to the kid who is feeling what you are feeling. Your story is their story too.
So, if you’re a kid being bullied, marginalised, sad, cutting yourself, depressed…take one step towards loving yourself. Each breath you take is the future You now.
Step out of your silence; disrupting the darkness has the power to change the course of history. Make today the day, when by being in the everyday moments of your life, you are as we say, "achieving those global goals."
Write it, speak it, find a Youtube video that says it for you…tell someone so that they can take action for you too.
#flowinaction #creativity #ideas #resilience #grit #wellbeing #agentsofchange #adventurers #ecosocinn #innovators #entrepreneurs
How would you rate your wellbeing?
As someone with a social mission, your ‘emotional contract’ with your work motivates you to take one more step each day.
However, because your life’s purpose is deeply personal, it can be hard to get started and expose your ideas to criticism; and because you want to make extraordinary impact, there are times when you may become inert and disheartened by the scale of the task around you.
Conversely, we may also take everything on, allowing ourselves to get distracted from our real goals so that we can stay safe, even if it’s in safe discomfort.
Another tried and tested version of not looking after our wellbeing, is to take everything on and ‘burn out’ as we strive to make the most impact that we can.
You might be brilliant at recognising other people’s capacity to make social change happen but struggle to recognise your own extraordinary contribution each day, as you use your strengths and skills to take action in ways that are meaningful to you.
Being a resilient, happy agent of change
Being a resilient agent of change, is not about being ‘tough’ and putting up with things that make you unhappy. Instead, resilience is about living from a place of knowing who you are, celebrating your unique blend of self and drawing on all of this so that you can adapt to and overcome challenges.
Resilience is a fundamental part of your wellbeing. It is your core of creativity, joy, adaptability and connection to the world.
To quote Diane Coutu:
“Resilient people…possess three characteristics: a staunch acceptance of reality; a deep belief, often buttressed by strongly held values, that life is meaningful; and an uncanny ability to improvise.” How Resilience Works, Diane L Coutu. Harvard Business Review, May 2002
What are you putting up with that makes you unhappy?
Are you choosing overload? Are you overwhelmed and disheartened?
All of these things get in the way of you achieving your purpose - to make change happen!
In today's uncertain world, more than ever, you need to care for your wellbeing so that you can keep caring for others too. You need to build that connection to your resilience.
Start your wellbeing journey by seeing things as they really are
When you look at the blueprint of your everyday life, without judgement or self-policing, what is making you happy and fulfilled and what is getting in the way of your wellbeing?
The table below might seem trivial (you can download it as a PDF here), but if you have to think hard for more than a minute or two, about responses to the statements then press the pause button.
Ask yourself why you're struggling to respond. If you think, "I'm too busy to think about it right now," then that is an answer in itself - how separate are you from the things that make you happy that responses don't pour out of you.
If you are truly flourishing as you are, then use your responses as a way of celebrating. We need to celebrate happiness more often!
If your responses opened up a need to be more connected to your wellbeing, then get in touch. If you find yourself saying, “I should be happy but…”, then get in touch. If you need some help with decisions you know that you need to make, then get in touch.
We can find your way forward together with 1-1 coaching online or face-to-face in Geneva or the Swiss mountains.
Start with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
#wellbeing #resilience #agentsofchange #sdg3 #whocaresforthecarers #perma #grit #liveyourpassion #changemakers #socinn #socent
Today, choose to shatter the myth you tell yourself, the one where you say, “I’m nothing special! How can I have impact?”
You are unprecedented. You were not born to fit in.
Fitting in means that you have to diminish yourself in some way to conform to someone else’s rules. You belong to the tribe that crosses boundaries to live their purpose.
You move mountains simply by being yourself and by using your unique creativity to find answers.
This is how you make impact in ways that are meaningful to you.
Becoming present to your unique perspective, your brand of magic, tunes you into knowing how to find the answers.
It tunes you into your immense capacity to create solutions. It is an approach to life and taking action.
You own your fulfilment because you are acting from the space of your creativity and also are open to learning more.
Make today, a day of coming home to yourself, which brings me to John O Donohue's poem, To Come Home To Yourself:
"May all that is unforgiven in you
May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquilities.
May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love."
Are you one of the purpose-people who doesn’t take good care of their wellbeing?
Well, in sixteen days, on 20th March, it’s International Day of Happiness and my invitation to you is that you start taking real care of your wellbeing and allow yourself to be truly, without a shadow of a doubt, overflowing with happiness on that day.
Why? Because as an agent of change, you are a role-model of hope, optimism and living a life of fulfilment.
If you, as a revolutionary advocating for others to lead flourishing lives and protecting the planet, don’t know how to create that life for yourself then how will you truly lead the way?
Break the rules keeping you stuck
When there is so much going on the world, maybe you’ve made a pact with yourself, “I can’t be truly happy until I’ve saved the world.”
Often, as agents of change, we fall into the trap of expressing our compassion through fear-based actions, staying in jobs, roles and relationships that are long over-due their sell-by date!
Sometimes, we harden our hearts and lose track of living our life values in the everyday. Maybe, we feel compelled to burn-out to show some impact, to demonstrate that we acted.
We act in these disempowering ways with so much positive intent, but we actually limit our capacity to make good change happen around us when we act from this space.
These rules are made to be broken. After all, you are a warrior of light.
You are unprecedented
Or maybe, you lost track of what actually makes you happy? Maybe you never really knew? Maybe you are still thinking that it’s someone else’s responsibility to make you happy, to rescue you?
As a rule-breaker and a change-maker, your first commitment is to know yourself, to own yourself as a whole person, to recognise and celebrate that you are unprecedented.
There has NEVER been anyone like you before this moment and there never will be again. You are a unique blend of you-ness.
For every moment on this planet, be ‘flow in action’ - the pure energy of creating, because your creativity is the gateway to living your life purpose.
Start owning your happiness
It is time to take a new perspective. In the exquisite words of Martha Postlewaite’s poem, Clearing:
“Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world so worth
It’s time to create a clearing and discover, perhaps for the first time, what actually makes you happy. Then, ask yourself how you can DO more of that every day.
How happy will you allow yourself to be on International Day of Happiness?
How will you overflow with joy by taking back ownership of your everyday happiness, as your unprecedented self?
Living your flourishing life does not mean that you have abandoned compassion for ‘this world so worth of rescue’ – it’s the door that you open from the inside to make more and lasting change.
I Am Unprecedented® #flowinaction #wellbeing #sdg3 #resilience #grit #changemaker #purposedriven #happiness #joy