Happiness is all around – and so am I

4good StockholmLast week was a very busy one for me, where I had no less than 4 gigs last week of a wildly varying nature.

From talking to a group of students from Aiesec about happiness at work in a volunteer organization, to talking to a group of insurance claims handlers about stress and busyness. That last presentation, incidentally, happened on one of their busiest days, because Denmark had just been hit by severe thunderstorms – giving insurance companies nationwide a lot of extra work. Talk about good timing :o)

Thursday I presented on happiness at the reboot conference. Preparing for this, it turned out that working with happiness at work for the last 4 years has also taught me a lot about happiness in general – partly because I’ve been keeping up with a lot of the research done in positive psychology and in economics, but mostly because in that period I have literally lived for happiness – mine and others’.

The presentation content itself turned out to be completely different from my “happiness at work” presentations, and I had to develop a completely new presentation for this event.

My main points were:

  1. Happiness is the point of our existence. We’re here to be happy.
  2. Happiness is easy. Everything we need to be happy is easy to get.
  3. We tend not to know what makes us happy.
  4. Happiness is subversive. Happy people are the greatest danger to some of the structures in society that are holding us back.

I like how the presentation went and some people told me later that it was one of their favorite reboot experiences.

Stephanie Booth was there, and she was kind enough to blog some amazing notes. You can also download my slides.

4good Stockholm

Then on Friday I went to Stockholm to do my first presentation in Sweden and that went even better. A group of around 50 business leaders, HR people and journalists heard my standard presentation on happiness at work and they really, really seemed to like it.

Which is good, because I did the event together with Swedish speaker bureau 4good, and we’re hoping to develop many more speaking gigs for me in Sweden.

5 thoughts on “Happiness is all around – and so am I”

  1. I agree with our ideas. Some of us may knows what makes us happy, but our selfish desires for other things makes it hard for us to consider both at the same time. There should be a sacrifice if we truly want to be happy.

  2. Saw your talk at Reboot and as a result started to list 3 thing which made me happy each day since Thursday. I really like the idea! It helps to remember the good stuff especially when your stressed out. Moreover we decided to not watch television for 2 weeks and see if it makes us even more happy :-) and if we should do without tv in the long run.

  3. Years ago, when we were quite poor, my old tv broke and we had several years without a TV. We were amazed at how many other things we managed to do.
    I don’t watch a lot of TV even now but then I do spend time on the computer…… that wastes more of my time than TV ever did! At least you can iron at the same time as watching TV!!!!

    I enjoy the postings but I have a long way to go before I can say I am happy at work. I know what things I enjoy doing and I can honestly say that if I were doing some tasks( IT databases and devising management reports using SQL Queries) and answering the phone (!) I would not think I was even working. But finding a position that combines those 2 is not easy.

    I shall just have to keep finding 3 things that made me happy today…. helping my duaghter do her exam revision, a nice sandwich at lunchtime and getting to work on time, despite having to do a major countryside detour because of roadworks….its not much to have achieved in a day though!

  4. I like your ideas, especially the 3rd which is not knowing what makes us happy. We are always blinded by certain situation from what truly makes us happy. We should learn how to get over those barriers and identify our real happiness.

  5. Charlie: I don’t really agree with the “happiness through sacrifice” thinking. In most cases you can get to happiness with little or no sacrifice. I wrote about it here:
    Is happiness the most?

    claudia: Thanks – I’m really glad you liked my talk. Please let me know how you like life without a TV. In my experience the first week or two are pretty tough to get through – that’s when you really miss it – so be sure to give it a shot.

    deb: I’ve had the exact same experience that my computer (specifically surfing the net) steals more time than the TV ever did. There is one fundamental difference, namely that surfing the web is fairly active while watching TV is very passive.

    But if it takes up all your free time it’s till not good :o) And there’s no way I can throw my computer out. No way, no how :o)

    Howie: Exactly. There are a lot of assumptions around about what does or doesn’t make us happy. Let’s forget those and find out what really works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.