I have to be honest. I’ve been intentionally slow these past few weeks.

I’ve sat in long conversations listening to what it means to be human, shared the raw fears of those trying to navigate the unknown, and listened to statements of hope around what people want the future to look like when we finally return to humanly connected living.

I’ve observed and reflected on how the media has portrayed a crisis and how we in turn have reacted through our social media. In short, my observations are: 

  • Everyone is doing the best they can
  • For many of us just getting out of bed can feel like a big task in the current environment
  • There is a huge guilt associated with reduced productivity especially when you are one of those still in a job
  • Our brains are in survival mode and much of our behaviour is reactionary. Equally we are grieving the loss of the life we had and trying to navigate that process amongst everything else that’s going on
  • Focusing on the future and its uncertainty can feel overwhelming, meaning many of us just want to work out how the fuck to get through the next 24 hours
  • Many of us don’t want to buy stuff now, nor do we want to invest in significant professional development. We just don’t have the head space, nor the motivation
  • Working from home full-time with limited human connection (and 2 kids and a dog jumping over you) is not the same as having one day a week at home alone to get some high value work done.
  • No one wants to be told what to do or how to feel right now, and understandably so
  • Many of us are looking for simple ways to help us just get through what feels like Groundhog Day 

All of this has fascinated me. Not in a judgmental way, but in a way that leaves me longing, longing to support people in where they are at right now. Which is why I made a decision to offer free programs to support people in getting through the next 24 hours in a way that is constructive not destructive. I want to amplify feelings of human connection and hopefully sprinkle a little joy.

With that in mind, I thought I might share a really simple exercise to help those who want to bring a little more happiness into each day. So we here go …

What Makes You Happy

We’ve been running a little experiment called Human Hour in the past few weeks. This experiment sees random strangers from around the world connect for one hour on Zoom. It’s a lightly facilitated hour where we cultivate what we are wired for as a species - positive human connection and the sharing of what truly lights us up as human beings.

One of the exercises we undertake during Human Hour is called What Makes You Happy. We ask participants to unlock their mobile phones and scroll through to find one photograph that puts a smile on their face. It can be absolutely anything (so long as it’s clean because they have to share it with the other participants).

Why don’t you take a moment right now and do this before you read on? Trust me it’s worth it!

Now let me ask you - was your photo of your desk at work? How about your computer? Your house? Your car?  In my experience, these are not the things that people share in their photos. I’ve now run this exercise with thousands around the world and discovered that happiness is often found in one (if not a combination) of the following areas:

where-is-happiness-found

What I find absolutely fascinating is that all of the buckets we find happiness in are accessible and free in some way (if we get creative and curious enough) even now in a lockdown situation. Many people have shared with me during Human Hour that they find happiness in simple things like:

  • Not having to travel to work each day has afforded them more quality time with their children. “I can now have breakfast with them” or “kick a ball with my kids at the end of a day”.
  • They are connecting more than ever with the people they love, not physically but using technology. They are truly grateful that tech like Zoom exists.
  • How they’re exploring new hobbies like how to bake the perfect loaf of bread or practicing hand stands for the first time or mastering that elusive peacock pose as part of their yoga practice.

For me happiness is found in nature, my son, my dog, humanly connecting, being present and in a moment fully, sharing experiences and positively impacting the lives of others.

A Happier and Healthier Reality

Until now, many of us have sidelined these happy moments at the expense of more: more productivity, more success, more material things. What would happen if as a society, we made it the norm for our happiness and wellbeing to be a priority? What if we incentivised each other to bring more of these things into the everyday?

In comparison to a pre-Covid19 world where 70% of employees were disengaged, I suspect we would find more people enjoying their work or doing work that they loved. More people would be happier and healthier. They might not be as financially wealthy, but would that matter if our basic human needs were met and we had more joy in our days? We might also find irony in that by focusing on human happiness, we would discover that the enhanced productivity we’ve been chasing would be a by-product of simply creating the space for more of what matters. What an opportunity!

 

Want To Know More About HackingHappy.co?

HackingHappy.co is on a mission to teach 10 million humans how to intentionally adapt by 2025 in order to future proof happiness. We are devoted to supporting you in creating the space, self-belief and the courage to realise the happiness you deserve. Want more happy in each day? Take your free Hacking Happiness Assessment here.



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