As part of the Dalai Lama’s trip to the UK this summer he went to Glasto festival. A friend of mine, sat very close to the front in his talk, came home brimming with joy. “His message is that we’re here on this earth to be happy” she extolled!
Amazing, isn’t it, how very simple messages can sometimes seem so damn profound.
I’ve mulled this for a while and decided the idea of pursuing happiness can be given a bad rap + easily dismissed as a selfish pursuit. If you’ve gone in that direction come back over here and take a look from this angle. I’ve got a few ideas on why it’s not just important (generally) but also imperative to sustainability (specifically).
Why your happiness is essential to sustainability
Having thought long and hard about this, my answer would be everything.
- The parallels of happiness: In everything we do there’s parallels to be drawn between the way we approach something and the outcome we create. Take resilience – if we are resilient approaching the challenge of sustainability surely the world we create will be resilient too. The same goes for happiness. If we can strive for happiness in the process of creating a sustainable world then surely the outcome will be happier too. A great reason to make everything we do fun in either form or function, if at all possible.
- Happiness for ease: There’s an idea that if something is enjoyable / fun / i.e. it makes you happy, it’s easy and you’ll do more of it. Our journey to a sustainable world surely won’t be challenge free, but could the way we approach it make it easier?
- Happiness for attraction: people having fun are magnetic. They’re attractive. Aren’t you always intrigued when you hear people really having a good time? Aren’t you drawn to know what they’re working on and laughing about? By the same token could us making sustainability fun, enjoyable, and being happy in the process, also be a way of getting more recruits / collaborations towards sustainability?
- Personal resilience for happiness: On this long sustainability voyage the more we look after ourselves, the stronger and more resilient we’ll be. Therefore having a focus on what makes us happy and healthy is about creating this resilience. And we don’t need to discuss that surely? Resilience can only be a good thing.
So, I’ll ask you again. Does it make you happy? IT being your life, your work, your home, your relationships…Because if they don’t I’d say it’s time to start changing things, making some choices, and taking charge.
Over to you
I challenge you: Using the phrase “does this make me happy” question your life. Happiness is infectious, inspiring and breeds happiness. After all, being happy isn’t just about you any more, it’s in service of the future.
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