Finding happiness

Finding happiness

As part of my role as founder and CHO (Chief Happiness Office) of The Happiness Institute I’m frequently asked to speak to groups, organisations and at conferences. One of the best things about this, particularly the conference speaking component, is that I’m often given opportunity to meet and share the stage with some incredibly inspirational people.

Lately, for example, I’ve met and been fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know a man who survived sexual and physical abuse as a child, as well as drug and alcohol misuse as an adult; a woman who’s husband murdered their two children, her father and then himself; and a man who lost his wife and two children at Port Arthur in the worst mass murder case Australia has ever experienced.

Yet each of these people have, in their own way, found happiness!

Now these are, quite clearly, extreme examples but what they prove is that happiness can be found/achieved even despite the most trying conditions. How? Well in talking to each of these people they’ve confirmed for me the principles we espouse at The Happiness Institute. Each one, in his or her own way reinforced that the following factors were helpful:

– being clear about the sort of person they wanted to be, and not to be (i.e. not being a “victim”)

– using active coping strategies as opposed to passive ones (such as alcohol)

– envisaging a positive future (even during the bleak times)

– having and utilising the support of others (we don’t have to cope alone)

– having fun (as soon as they were capable of doing so) and appreciating what they still had (despite what they’d lost)

We can all learn from these incredible people and among other things, what we can learn is that happiness is possible even during difficult times. If you have any thoughts or comments on this posting…please feel free to reply.