This is a really geeky day in my challenge – today I met with someone about the possibility of doing some research. I’m experimenting with actually doing some of the things which have been in the back of my mind for ages. It’s leading me to exciting places! And also a stack of fun bedside reading over the holidays….
Tonight I attended an evening organised by Action for Happiness entitled ‘Happier Life, Better World’ – again an invitation I’d usually turn down. It was a talk given by an ‘Expert In Happiness’ who is encouraging world leaders to develop a way of measuring gross national happiness as well as gross national product as markers of economic success. As with any Positive Psychology event, audience participation was very much a feature, as was actual hugging…. It also seems being an ‘Expert in Happiness’ gives you license to make up some new words. My three top faves were
(1) Glocalisation – local in character, global in spirit
(2) Possibilism = Dreams + Action
(3) Infospiration. Now, I’m not gonna lie – I have absolutely NO idea what that means.
Through the slight cringyness, there were some genuinely interesting ideas to think about. The take home message is that we get unhappy when we’re stuck in a rut, when we’re pulled into the mindless routine of everyday life. People are happier when they are flexible, when they are prepared to make subtle changes to their normal routines, when they are willing to at least try to look at things from a slightly different perspective. From my experience over the last twenty five days, I can certainly attest to that. By subtly changing something every day, just for a few weeks, I met a whole group of new people, have started to do yoga regularly and tried some new food which I genuinely have loved – none of which would of happened if I’d stuck to my everyday routine. So I challenge you – sit in a chair you don’t usually sit in, eat something different for breakfast tomorrow – the science says it’s likely to make your day that little bit happier….
My job involves a lot of sitting down and talking to people. I’m in such a routine that I always sit in the exact place in my office every since day without even thinking about it. Today I turned the chairs around and sat on the opposite side. It sounds silly, but my day felt totally different, just by shifting my perspective a few feet!
When I really think about it, there are so many things in London I have the opportunity to do and I never take up. Today I decided to reverse my usual reaction to one such opportunity. I went to a talk given by the London School of Economics. When I really looked at the programme, they have some really well known and well respected people come to talk about loads of stuff. This one again was about healthcare (it’s related to my job, I’m not just randomly obsessed with the health service!) and so it became number 17.
It turns out I made a new friend – we bonded over her admiration of my kindle fire. We talked policy, swapped email addresses and who knows where it’ll end up. Amazing what doors are opening up after a couple of weeks of trying something new!
If you’re like me, mornings can be a struggle. I tend to roll out of bed, stumble mindlessly into the shower, gobble some weetabix and then leg it to the train which I always have to run for, no matter how early I get up. I do this all on auto pilot – my routine has become such a well worn groove, I can literally do it without thinking. This morning, to shake things up a bit, I reversed my normal shower routine. It was amazing actually how hard this was – I had to really concentrate to do it differently. It was interesting though and may sound silly, but it really made my morning seem really different. Why don’t you give it a try….