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Monday 17th January is “Blue Monday” - the name given to the third Monday in the month to mark the most depressing day of the year (apparently).
Our General Manager Claire Best takes a look at what happiness really is and shares the things that make her happy.
Why is there a day for everything?
Blue Monday was first launched in 2005 as a marketing ploy by Sky Travel to get people to book more trips to the sun. Even that pleasure is uncertain these days.
Thankfully though, more and more people have started to campaign against it. Sure, we’re all skint, ate too much over Christmas and didn’t exercise enough but January is a time for new beginnings. A time to focus on the opportunities ahead, make positive changes and look forward to the future.
This (along with some new year reading and listening) got me thinking about happiness as a concept.
What is happiness?
What does it mean to be happy?
Have you ever thought about that before?
Of course happiness is subjective, it means different things to different people. What does it take for you to be happy?
It’s a very simple question but even when asking myself, it’s harder to put into words than you first think.
I was listening to a great podcast from the Diary of a CEO series and in this episode, entrepreneur Mo Gawdat speaks about his belief that happiness is a choice. An idea that a lot of people aren’t willing to accept, especially when things are looking bleak or they’re experiencing tough times.
However, I think it’s a game-changing notion for those willing to accept it.
He talks about a happiness equation. The equation says that happiness is greater than, or equal to, your perception of the events in your life minus your expectation of how life should be.
Happiness is a state that we opt-in to. It is our own responsibility and not that of others to satisfy that feeling.
Mo says “Happiness is not about what the world gives you, it’s about what you think about what the world gives you.”
Read that again.
One of my goals for this year is to study more of Mo’s work as I find it so interesting and thought provoking. Check out the podcast here - it’ll only take 1 hour 57 minutes of your life. And I promise it’s worth it.
What makes me happy?
It’s quite a scary thing sharing publicly what happiness means to me.
Because that’s the thing about being happy, it’s really personal. What makes me happy won’t make you so happy and vice versa.
So this is by no means a guide or secret recipe for happiness. Rather, this is just me, having been inspired by a fantastic podcast, trying to work out what it all means.
For me, happiness is feeling content. Having that sense of peace and contentment with whatever is happening in that moment.
From the seemingly trivial to the more significant, I thought I’d share some of the stuff that makes me happy.
Eating a packet of chocolate hobnobs (yes, an entire packet. No judgement here please).
A ‘huggle’ on the sofa with my children.
Hugs in general actually - I hate social distancing.
Feeling proud of my work.
Feeling proud of someone I love.
When my kitchen is clean.
I could go on…
So this Monday, why don’t you join me in the campaign against negativity and make a list of all the unique things that make you your version of happy. Then go do them.