“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude”. Denis Waitley
Happiness is not just a fleeting emotion; the pursuit of happiness is a journey that involves cultivating purpose through our passions and values, engaging in meaningful activities, and building strong relationships with the people and the world around us. Deep sustainable happiness is a state of internal fulfilment. It is a state of being that encompasses all aspects of life; physical health, mental well-being, social connectedness, and personal fulfilment.
As Leader’s our ability to master our internal world is key to our effectiveness and impact, our capacity to build an organisational culture that values the experience of happiness and Joy as levers for high performance will help us to stand out from the crowd.
Research has shown that being happy can have significant benefits for individuals and organisations. In fact, being happy can make you a better, more successful, and stronger leader.
Bhutan is widely known for its commitment to Gross National Happiness, it has helped guide public discussions and the formulation of policies and laws in the country. A major success of the policy is that Bhutan has remained a reasonably equitable and sustainable society where the proportion of happy people is high despite a relatively low level of per capita income. GNH can encourage businesses to measure success by the bottom line and the environmental and social benefits they offer, and it can help track how people really feel about the changes in their organisations and society.
March 20th is International Day of Happiness, a day dedicated to recognising the importance of the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human right, and it is a day to reflect on what brings us joy, peace and happiness.
How can happiness strengthen your organisation and make you a better leader?
Positive emotions improve decision-making skills. When we're happy, we tend to think more positively. Positive emotions elevate our thinking, and help us to see more possibilities, which can lead to more strategic, creative and effective decision-making. As a leader, being able to make good decisions is crucial, and being happy can help you do that. What positive emotions does your leadership promote in your organisation, and how do you up the ante on this?
Happiness leads to better relationships. As a leader, building strong relationships with your team and colleagues is essential for success. What key relationships need a happiness upgrade, and what will you do about it?
Happiness leads to better health. According to a recent study with 20,000 people from Microsoft, over 50% of employees and 53% of managers said they were burnt out. Being happy can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. What is the connection between health and happiness in your organisation, and what needs to change for the better?
Happy leaders are more productive. Research has shown that happy people tend to be more productive and engaged in their work. When you're happy, you're more likely to be motivated, focused, and energised, which can lead to increased productivity and better performance. A recent poll by Partners In Leadership confirmed that when employees are happier at work, 85% say they take more initiative, 73% say they are better collaborators, and 48% care more about their work. The most effective leaders understand the connection between engagement, happiness and productivity. Research conducted by economists at the University of Warwick suggested that our brains function more effectively and we are 12% more productive when we feel positive towards ourselves and our immediate surroundings. What do your engagement scores reveal to you about the underlying health, happiness, well-being and performance of your team and organisation?
Happiness fosters creativity and increases resilience. Happy people are more likely to seek out new experiences, take risks, and think outside the box. Being able to foster creativity and innovation is essential for staying ahead of the curve and driving growth in any organisation. Leaders who prioritise happiness and well-being are better equipped to handle setbacks and challenges. When leaders have a positive mindset, they’re more likely to approach challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. What do you need to do to prioritise Happiness in your life?
“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness”. Charles Spurgeon
We invite you to consider how you can cultivate happiness and well-being to bring out the best in yourself and your organisation. Look at the changes you can make and how you can start tracking how people feel to build an organisational culture that values the experience of happiness and Joy as levers for high performance.