The Secret to Happiness?

Monday 11th April, 2011

Politicians want to measure our happiness, but they need to distinguish between fulfillment and fleeting feelings so says Libby Purves in today’s Times. She goes on to cite Ken Dodd’s song “Happiness! Happiness! The greatest gift that I possess”   and the fact that at 84 he is still honing new jokes, touring six-hour shows and bathing in giggling applause. She ends her article by saying “ Work, achievement, an answering echo from humanity: all you need”. In that last sentence has Libby hit the nail on the head? Is the secret to happiness all about doing something you love doing? In 2007 Des O Connor was honoured with a CBE and is quoted as saying “I haven’t done a day’s work in my life.” “I’ve done a day’s effort but not work, because it’s something I love,”

Could the secret to Ken Dodd’s happiness be the fact that he loves doing what he does? If you are doing something you love doesn’t that have an impact on everything important in your life? Your health and your family and aren’t you a better friend if you are personally fulfilled?

This is also the essence of Sir Ken Robinson’s book ‘The Element’ and I quote “we need to create environments – in our schools, in our workplaces and in our public offices- where every person is inspired to grow creatively. We need to make sure that all people have the chance to do what they should be doing, to discover the Element in themselves and in their own way.

So this takes us back to schools, how many young people do you know who leave school not knowing what they want to do and then go onto university still not knowing? Or start courses and then realise it’s not for them!

This is another reason why we are passionate about the NBI Brain Profile. It’s great when you help someone find their talent and a sense of who they are. Like Karen who says “The Brain Profiling had a big impact on my personal life as well as professionally.  I had been going through that mid-life review of “how did I get here and am I heading in the right direction for my future?” Karen saw her profile and decided to go to do a part time textile course at college. “I have increased the amount of personal satisfaction I feel and I love telling people I am a textile designer”

It also begs the question if businesses were more interested in the personal development of their people would that make them more successful? In one if his talks Sir Ken told of how the company Pixar actively encourages their staff to pursue personal development as they recognise the value in doing this.

Is this the real direction David Cameron should be heading in? Isnt this what makes us ‘flourish’ as Martin Seligman puts it?

This entry was posted on Monday, April 11th, 2011 at 2:50 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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