Rounding up the programme
with The -C- Coach.
Recap of the Happiness ROI Programme.
It’s been a joyful journey together discovering key pillars of our wellbeing and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to share the simple exercises and tricks that directly contribute to higher levels of happiness.
As we wrap up this instalment of the Happiness ROI programme, let’s first round up our findings over the last 10 weeks as we explored the 5 wellbeing pillars: values, mindset, gratitude, boundaries, and joy.
I took a look at the key themes across all the survey findings and it’s clear we undervalue simplicity. Sounds harsh doesn’t it?
Breaking it down, here are the inter-dependent factors at play:
1. We can’t be present
2. We lack the resilience to manage everyday challenges
3. We’ve lost sight of what’s important to us
4. We can’t communicate effectively, and
5. We lack confidence.
When was the last time you daydreamed? Do you know what daydreaming is? It’s when you’re in a state of nothingness. So, whilst you’re losing yourself in your inner world, the brain has time to rest and fill your memories; de-stress and relax, and as a result, conserve energy. Daydreaming is now simply a lost luxury. If we can’t habitually slow down and be consciously present, allowing our brain to encode our memories throughout the day, rest, and repair – how can we expect to know how to communicate effectively, manage a stressful situation, and exude self-confidence, which requires us to draw on past experiences and learned behaviour? And with this, by not truly living by our values – our purpose and our intentional legacy that comes from within – we can’t be consciously living or feel self-confident about something that we don’t fully own. Can we?
We are all high achievers with ambition in this community; and, did you know most of you suffer from imposter syndrome at some point in your careers? It’s a reinforced mindset stopping you from recognising your wins, your strengths, and your key contributions in the workplace. Instead, you only focus on the mistakes and the next big challenge to go after for the next rush of adrenaline. Over time, we have evolved into humans living in a state of out-of-body experiences bouncing from internal to external pressures like a never-ending game of ping-pong – battling with the inner critic and our negative mindset, then facing societal pressures to conform. If we could just relieve some of that pressure, would it create more space and time for us to be present? Or would it break the bubble and illusion that we don’t have enough time (even 5-10 minutes to do the things that make us joyful, thankful, stronger, mindful, resilient, confident, etc.)?
Our findings have shown that our mindset is essentially living in the future or the past; that we haven’t noticed something to be grateful for today; we may have experienced something pleasurable in the last seven days, but we can’t express our needs to people in the moment. So chances are… you’re not a daydreamer, but I invite you to be! Using one of my visualisations like A Joyful Moment in the Sun or the Uplifting Gratitude Meditation is a perfect way to come back easily and quickly to the present moment.
Let’s start discovering and appreciating the simple things in life to unlock more happiness. Can we learn more about what happiness is and how it impacts our lifetime so we can have more control over our happiness fate? Let’s take a general look at what happiness means in our current world, and if simplicity really is a part of the happiness equation.
Do you feel confident saying no to things you don’t want to do?
Fellow HROI community members are feeling the pressure to say yes - nearly 70% of us. Where is this pressure coming from? Are we living in FOMO? Are we living in fear of looking weak or not good enough if we say no? Are we culturally so accustomed to serving the needs of others that prioritising ourselves means we have to feel selfish?
I hear you and understand the overwhelming desire to do what feels easy - just say yes, but know this - every time you say yes you’re not promoting healthy and sustainable relationships in your life. By saying no, you promote empathy, compassion, and mutual respect. People might not like you - but they will respect you honouring your needs and limits and might even feel inspired to do the same.
Your lifetime happiness level is a U-shape
Some studies indicate that happiness follows a U-shaped curve, with the lowest point occurring in midlife in your 40s, with your happiness rebounding at around 50, gradually increasing into your later life. Hence the term, “midlife crisis” is real!
The U-shaped happiness pattern was consistent across cultures and countries, as found in a study by Blanchflower and Oswald (2008) analysing data from over 80 countries.
Breaking down the numbers
According to Quartz, there are some key stats that might be of interest to you. Here are some of them:
Earning $127,000 or €117,000 is the key figure to unlocking ultimate happiness in 2023. Anything beyond that doesn’t increase your happiness.
Finland, for the 6th time, is once again ranked the happiest country in the world by the World Happiness Report.
According to a Gallup report in 2022, only 14% of the European population is engaged at work compared to 33% of citizens of the US and Canada.
You’re likely to feel your unhappiest in your 40s, peaking unhappy at 47.2 according to a 2020 study.
In 2022, the Happiness Index average was 5.54 points based on 134 countries. The highest value was in Finland: 7.8 points and the lowest value was in Afghanistan: 1.86 points. Other countries include the US: ranked 16th with 6.89; Spain: 31st with 6.44 and Japan: 46th with 6.13.
What’s Finland doing right for happiness?
Cooperation not comparison. Let’s look at 5 key factors I’ve identified that make Finns happy:
Outlook: In 2018, 60% of Finns have a positive or very positive attitude towards cooperation with 90% of Finns participating in a co-operative. This cooperative outlook spans all aspects of Finnish life.
Education: According to educationalists, early school pressurises students and can harm their mental health. So, The Finns’ schooling system starts at 7, much later in comparison to other countries; they don’t get much, if any homework; they have fewer tests; special children (23%) attend the same school with additional staff; and the mantra for schooling is no competition, only cooperation.
Simplicity: Finns benefit from the cleanest air and purest waters in the world; they are connected to nature and love hiking in the woods, exploring nature trails and camping under the stars; and foraging for wild food sources which they enjoy fresh and in a sustainable way.
Safety: Infrastructure is set up, public services run smoothly, there are low levels of crime and corruption and there’s an earned trust between the government and the public. This all contributes to a well-functioning society and cultivates a culture where everyone looks out for the safety and interests of others.
Social Connection: The Finnish way of life is centred around the 3 million saunas for their 5 million population. The Finnish sauna culture is based on valuing custom and wellbeing and is integral to the Finnish culture of happiness. It ties into the time spent by the 188,000 lakes available and bringing people together in the same space. The combination of saunas and lakes also means there’s plenty of space for people to sweat out the negative!
A good time for reflection
As we sign off so you can begin your journey to more happiness, I invite you to look closely at what your life consists of, day by day, and reflect on how simplicity could positively impact your life. Here’s what the Happiness ROI Programme was inviting you to do, simply, which you may have missed…
Integrate mindfulness to disrupt stress building up, whilst also bringing you more focus
Boost your mood by engaging in a short activity, or even moments, that are fun and pleasurable
Relieve the pressure and anxiety of the unknown, by reminding yourself of all that you have right now
Reprogramming to a more supportive mindset and attitude every time you challenge a thought, behaviour, or action that doesn’t serve you by doing it differently next time
Trust the facts and the evidence. Treat fiction as a fraudulent and destructive path.
Cultivate a nurturing and kinder relationship with self, based on what is real and what’s important.
Discover your free wellbeing toolkits.
Over ten weeks, The -C- Coach will be supporting you with expert guidance based on five wellbeing pillars. Every two weeks you can discover your new free toolkit with audios, videos, resources, and exercises to help you to explore and integrate sustainable habits into your daily routine for each wellbeing pillar.
You don't have to do this alone.
Please feel free to contact The -C- Coach directly at any time if you need further support or guidance on the Happiness ROI Programme.
Write your message to The -C- Coach using the form below.